Force India delivered a competitive showing with Sergio Perez qualifying in ninth place for today’s Spanish Grand Prix. Teammate Nico Hulkenberg starts from P11.
Sergio Perez: “I’m very happy to be starting ninth. This track has traditionally been a difficult one for us, so to come here with our upgrade and make Q3 feels pretty good. I think there was the potential to be even faster on my Q3 lap, but I’m still happy with the result. I expect us to be strong in the race and we have a good track position, which is important on this track where it’s never easy to overtake.
“In the first stint, the cars starting just outside the top ten on fresh tyres will be a threat, but I am confident we can make a good start and stay ahead. Strategy will be important, as well as tyre management, but it’s not easy if you get involved in battles that take the life out of your tyres. If we can come away with a good number of points it will be a nice reward for the team’s hard work and effort recently.”
Nico Hülkenberg: “It’s always a bit disappointing to miss out on Q3 by just one hundredth of a second, but on the other hand starting from P11 gives us the chance to explore the strategy options with a free choice of tyre for the first stint. We brought a big upgrade here this weekend and generally it’s working well, but I’m not totally comfortable in the car and I’m still chasing the balance. I feel quite optimistic about tomorrow because our long run pace looked solid and we’ve got a good chance of scoring some points.”
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal:
“To come to Barcelona – one of the most demanding tracks where aero performance dominates – and qualify in ninth and eleventh places is an excellent effort by the whole team. Everybody has worked extremely hard to deliver our new aerodynamic package and we’ve already reaped the rewards with our performance today. Sergio and Nico both delivered tidy laps and Nico was within a whisker of joining Sergio in Q3. Those starting positions give us a great opportunity to score a good number of points and make up for the misfortune we’ve experienced in some of the earlier races this season.”