Sahara Force India scored four points in today’s Bahrain Grand Prix as Sergio Perez (pictured above) raced to eighth place ahead of teammate Nico Hulkenberg in P13.
P8 Sergio Perez VJM08-02
Tyre strategy: Used Softs (17 laps) – New Softs (20 laps) – New Mediums (19 laps)
Sergio Perez: “Eighth place feels very good and I’m very satisfied. It was a great opportunity to score points today and this is a nice reward for the whole team. Before the race we were not sure a two-stop strategy was possible for us – we thought the tyre degradation would be too high, but the team did an amazing job to make it happen. My engineers were giving me good information over the radio and after the first stint we knew that stopping twice was our best chance of scoring points. I think this was one of my best races in terms of managing the pace and the tyres. There are a lot of positives to take from this weekend and once again we showed that this team has a lot of heart and that we never give up.”
P13 Nico Hulkenberg VJM08-01
Tyre strategy: Used Softs (10 laps) – Used Softs (15 laps) – New Mediums (13 laps) – New Mediums (18 laps)
Nico Hulkenberg: “It was a disappointing result for me tonight: we didn’t seem to be able to find the same level of grip we had in qualifying and that made it really hard in the car. We were in a few battles, but we just couldn’t get the right edge, which is a shame. We seemed to be struggling to preserve the tyres compared to the cars around us and this cost us positions. We will need to investigate what caused us to suffer so much in the race, and hopefully it will at least give us an answer to avoid a similar situation in future races.”
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal: “Finishing with some points is always a good result, especially considering the way in which Sergio and the engineers executed the two-stop strategy. We needed Sergio to preserve his tyres to make our strategy work and he did this perfectly. When there was the need to pull a decisive move, he did so without compromising tyres or car and that proved to be the key for tonight’s result. Nico had a busy race and he always seemed to be in the middle of some battle. He suffered with high degradation today and the extra pit stop compared to Checo dropped him outside the points. Overall, though, we feel very positive leaving Bahrain – it’s a solid result to wrap up the first round of fly-away races and adds four important points to our tally as we head to Europe.”