Sergio Perez staying at Force India

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Singapore Grand Prix - Preparation Day - Singapore, Singapore

 

Sergio Perez: “I’m pleased to confirm that I will be racing with Sahara Force India in 2017 as the team and my supporters have concluded their agreements.

“I’m very happy with this team and I have a good feeling for the future. I’ve seen the progress we’ve made over last couple of years and I’m sure we have the potential to achieve even more going forward. The team knows me well and it’s important to have stability, especially with some big rule changes planned for next year.

“I’m excited for the rest of this season and for the challenge that awaits all of us in 2017. I thank all the team for believing in me and I will do my best repay their faith with points, podiums and hopefully wins. I also want to thank our Mexican partners, especially Telmex and Telcel, who have been supporting me since I was a young boy. They continue to play an important role in my journey through the sport.”

Force India scored 12 points in today’s Malaysian Grand Prix with Sergio Perez racing to sixth place ahead of Nico Hulkenberg in eighth.

Sergio Perez: “It was a solid race for us today, but I think we were a bit unlucky with the way the race unfolded. At the start, things looked very positive: I had a good launch, stuck to the inside line and was up to third after turn one. There were some very quick cars behind me and I knew there was no point in fighting too hard and destroying my tyres.

“The key moment of my race was the first virtual safety car because it handed a big advantage to those who were able to start on the medium tyres, and dropped me down the order when I pitted. To recover back to sixth place was a good effort and we know that every point will count in the fight to finish fourth in the constructors’ championship. I don’t think we made any wrong decisions today, but it was just that the circumstances played more against us and into the hands of others.”

Nico Hülkenberg: “Finishing eighth is a reasonable result, given the circumstances of the race. It was quite a tough afternoon: I made a very good start, but coming to turn one I had to avoid the accident between Rosberg and Vettel and that cost me two positions. Being stuck behind Jenson (Button) cost me a lot of time in the first two stints and I just couldn’t overtake him.

“Losing the track position so early on made it very difficult to finish higher up, despite the speed we had in the car today. I believe our strategy was the correct one for our race, but it’s very hard to overtake here and it just didn’t play out in our favour. All in all, we can be happy about putting two cars inside the points; we have increased our advantage a little and it should help us in what is going to be a very interesting end of the season.”

 

Nico Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg

German GP post race: Force India

(L to R): Sergio Perez, Felipe Massa and Max Verstappen on the drivers parade.

(L to R): Sergio Perez, Felipe Massa and Max Verstappen on the drivers parade.

Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1. German Grand Prix, Sunday 31st July 2016. Hockenheim, Germany.

Nico Hulkenberg

 

Force India scored seven points in today’s German Grand as Nico Hulkeberg raced to seventh place and Sergio Perez finished in tenth place.

Nico Hülkenberg: Strategy: Used SuperSoft (12 laps) – New Soft (20 laps) – Used SuperSoft (12 laps) – New Soft (23 laps)
“Seventh was probably the best result available to us today, so it feels good to get the maximum from our race and score some important points. The team did a great job with the strategy because we went into the race believing a two-stopper was possible, but then made an early decision to switch to three stops.

“It was definitely the right way to go and allowed me to take seventh place in the final few laps. The tyre degradation was very high so most of the race was about managing the tyres. It was also quite a lonely and straightforward race because my main fight was against Bottas and we were running different strategies.

“So it’s a happy Nico and a happy team. We can look forward to the summer break and aim to carry this momentum forward in the second part of the season.”

Sergio Perez: Strategy: Used SuperSoft (8 laps) – New Soft (19 laps) – Used SuperSoft (16 laps) – New Soft (23 laps)
“It’s safe to say today was the worst start in my whole career. I had a lot of wheelspin at the start and dropped back to P16 – so it was a long fight back through the pack. The team had to think on their feet and tweak the strategy to get me back into a competitive position. Degradation was quite high, especially when following other cars, and I spent a lot of time in the middle of the race fighting with Fernando (Alonso).

“In the last few laps I was running out of tyres, but I knew Fernando was in a similar situation, so when I saw an opportunity I knew I had to take it. I honestly didn’t think we would score points after turn one, but we did it. We go on holiday now, proud of the incredible work we have done as a team in the first half of the season. I am confident we have a lot of good days ahead of us in the final nine races, but for now it’s important to get some rest.”

 

Nico Hulkenberg fancies a bit of footie.

Nico Hulkenberg fancies a bit of footie.

Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 on the grid. German Grand Prix, Sunday 31st July 2016. Hockenheim, Germany.

German GP qualifying: Force India

Nico Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg

Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09. German Grand Prix, Saturday 30th July 2016. Hockenheim, Germany.

Sergio Perez

 

A strong performance from Force India saw Nico Hulkenberg qualify in seventh place for his home Grand Prix at Hockenheim. Team mate Sergio Perez was close behind and will start the race from ninth.

Nico Hulkenberg: “I’m feeling pretty happy to qualify in seventh for my home race – it’s best of the rest behind the top three teams and a good effort by the whole team. Our objective is always to maximise our potential and it feels like we achieved that today. Most of my laps in the session came together nicely and my final effort in Q3 was spot on.

“We can expect a tough fight for good points tomorrow, but we are in a good starting position and we’ve looked strong here in all the sessions. The long run pace is competitive, too, so we’ve got every chance of getting a great result this weekend. There is talk of some rain tomorrow and to be honest I would not mind a shower during the race, but let’s wait and see what happens.”

Sergio Perez: “It was a fun and very intense fight with Nico and the two Williams cars throughout qualifying, and in the end it was really close between the four of us. It was crucial to get through Q1 on one set of tyres because some other teams had to use two sets and this gave us a small advantage in Q2 which helped us make the top ten.

“On my last lap of Q3 I struggled a bit through some of the right-hand corners; I think I may have picked something up on my front wing – maybe some debris – and that cost me some time, but it’s something I will analyse with the team. In the end, it was so close and just a few hundredths of a second made the difference. Tomorrow is going to be interesting. We are starting on the supersofts on which we qualified and we will need to work well as a team to make the strategy work and score some important points.”

 

Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1. German Grand Prix, Saturday 30th July 2016. Hockenheim, Germany.

Grand Prix of Europe post race: Force India

 

Sergio Perez celebrates his third position with the team.

Sergio Perez celebrates his third position with the team.

Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 celebrates his third position with the team. European Grand Prix, Sunday 19th June 2016. Baku City Circuit, Azerbaijan.

 

Force India and Sergio Perez picked a second podium finish of the season today after a strong performance at the European Grand Prix in Baku. Nico Hulkenberg battled to ninth place to ensure a double points finish for the team.

Sergio Perez: “I knew that the podium was possible today, but we really had to work hard for it. The key to my race was the great start I made to get around a Williams (Massa) and a Toro Rosso (Kvyat). Then, in the first stint I was suffering with graining of my supersoft tyres and we had to decide whether to wait for it to improve or to make an early stop. In the end, we stayed out longer, which was the right decision, but when I came out of the pits I struggled to warm-up the soft tyres and I was under big pressure from Lewis behind.

“I pushed as hard as I could and opened up a gap, and then I focussed on looking after my tyres. I closed in on Kimi and I knew he had a penalty, but on the final lap I got very close to him and saw the opportunity to overtake him, so I took it. To be on the podium for a second time this year feels fantastic. The team has done a brilliant job and we are having an amazing year.”

Nico Hülkenberg:  “It was a fairly tough race for me. The start was ok, but coming into turn one someone (Gutierrez) hit me from behind. I lost a couple of positions trying to control the car and that put me a bit on the back foot. Getting through traffic in the opening stages was not very easy and it cost me a lot of time. Then, for the early part of the race, I was struggling with oversteer and in general I couldn’t find the same harmony with the car that I had in practice.

“Making the supersoft tyres last as long as I did – 31 laps – was not easy and by the end of the race I had very little left, but it was a risk I was happy to take to make our strategy work. The car had great potential all weekend long, but I feel I paid for the mistake I made yesterday in qualifying. However, I am pleased for the team’s result: it means we bring home a bunch of points which is a boost for our season.”

Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal: “What a fantastic result from a weekend where we looked strong from the start. It is a success for the whole team: from the crew that repaired Checo’s damaged car after FP3 and produced two brilliant stops at a crucial time, to the guys on the pit wall who made the right calls, and of course everyone back at base.

“We knew we had the pace to fight at the front, even if we were starting further back than we wanted, but we delivered the result in the end. Checo drove well and a second podium in three races shows that he is getting the potential out of the car. Nico was unlucky to be hit at the start by Gutierrez, which ultimately compromised his race. He lost a few positions, but was able to keep the car facing the right way.

“Starting in P12, he had a different strategy and he was only a couple of laps away from finishing seventh, but he still claimed some important points. Today’s result strengthens our fifth position in the championship and moves us closer to fourth . I have no doubt there will be celebrations tonight!”

Canadian GP post race: Force India

Sergio Perez makes a pit stop.

Sergio Perez makes a pit stop.

 

Both Force India cars finished inside the top ten today with Nico Hulkenberg racing to eighth place ahead of Sergio Perez in tenth.

Nico Hülkenberg:  “I’m happy to score points, but at the same time I was hoping for a bit more from the race because I really believed we could challenge the top six. For some reason the car didn’t feel as good today as it did during practice and qualifying. Maybe it’s because the conditions were so cold and windy, which meant we lost the sweet spot and the car was not easy to drive. That’s something we need to look at in more detail and understand.

“At the start I didn’t get off the line very well, but I had a great first lap and recovered some positions. Then, the story of my race was simply tyre management. I think we made the right calls with the tyre strategy because even though we wanted to try and one stop it just wasn’t possible in the end.”

Sergio Perez: “It was a difficult race and looking back I don’t think we chose the optimum strategy. We tried to go down a different route compared to everyone else, but the cooler track conditions didn’t help: it was very difficult to get heat into the soft tyres during the first stint and that cost me a few positions at the start. I got stuck behind the two McLarens and that hurt my race. I lost a few seconds at the final stop when I briefly stalled the car and that dropped me behind Kvyat, but I managed to get the position back with an overtake going into turn one.

“In any case, to bring both cars home inside the points is a good result for the team, especially when the weekend doesn’t really go your way. We gave it our best and we have come home with points in the bag.”

Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal: “To come away from Montreal with another double points finish is a very good effort which consolidates our fifth place in the championship. We started the race hoping we could pull off a one-stop strategy with both cars, but with lots of tyre graining and high wear rates we opted to switch to a two-stop race. Most of the cars around us did the same, so it was the sensible course of action to cover our bases.

“Nico’s race was pretty non-eventful and he did well in the opening few laps to recover the ground he lost when he bogged down at the start. Sergio’s race was compromised by the slow warm-up of the soft tyres, which dropped him behind both McLarens and cost him quite a bit of time. To recover and score the final point was a good effort. After the chilly conditions of Montreal, we look forward to the weather that awaits us in Baku next week.”

Sparkling day for Force India

Nico Hulkenberg on the drivers parade.

Nico Hulkenberg on the drivers parade.

Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 on the drivers parade. Monaco Grand Prix, Sunday 29th May 2016. Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 celebrates his third position on the podium. Monaco Grand Prix, Sunday 29th May 2016. Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Sergio Perez celebrates his third position on the podium.

 

Force India scored a fantastic podium today as Sergio Perez raced to third place in the Monaco Grand Prix. Sixth place for Nico Hülkenberg ensured the team climbed to fifth in the constructors’ championship.

Sergio Perez: “A podium in Monaco is a very special moment. It’s one of my best ever races, especially when you see how difficult the conditions were today: you had to concentrate so hard and it was easy to make a mistake. The key to my race was the strategy and we got things just about perfect today.

“The first difficult decision was when to fit the intermediate tyre and we delayed this as long as possible. The team said it was my call when to come in and it paid off because we managed to jump a couple of cars, including my teammate. The switch to dry tyres was another key moment because I pitted early, a lap before Rosberg and Vettel, and managed to jump ahead of them.

“The soft tyres worked really well, but I knew I needed to look after them and it wasn’t easy because there was pressure behind from Vettel for most of the race. Everybody in the team deserves this result and I want to dedicate this podium to Vijay Mallya in particular.”

 

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Monaco Grand Prix - Sunday - Monte Carlo, Monaco

Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 celebrates his third position at the podium with his father Antonio Perez (MEX). Monaco Grand Prix, Sunday 29th May 2016. Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Sergio with his father Antonio Perez.

Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 celebrates his third position at the podium with the team. Monaco Grand Prix, Sunday 29th May 2016. Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Nico Hülkenberg: “It was ultimately a disappointing race for me, despite getting back to scoring points. I feel the timing of our first pit stop was wrong and that cost me track position and put me straight into traffic. This effectively ruined my race, as I spent the rest of the afternoon stuck there. It’s very frustrating as I had the pace to be on the podium today, but this is racing and it’s just the way it often is in Monaco.

“I was able to finally get past Rosberg with a good move on the exit of the final corner: we were on worn out tyres, it started to drizzle and it was very tricky to keep the car facing in the right direction. I got a better exit out of the corner and I think I got him by just a car’s length. All in all, I still feel it’s a huge missed opportunity for me. The car was in the sweet spot, it gave me a lot of confidence and I just had a good feeling today, but it was not to be.”

Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal: “What a race! It’s amazing to be celebrating our fourth podium finish and Sergio’s third with the team. It wasn’t easy to make the right calls with the strategy, but when given the opportunity to score a special result, Sergio didn’t put a single wheel wrong and grabbed it with both hands. To be honest, these decisions can often go the other way and we will review the wet to intermediate call we made with Nico.

“We opted to make an early stop for the intermediate tyres, but he got stuck behind Massa, which proved very costly for his race. Despite the disappointment for Nico, it’s a very special day for the team, one that will live with us for a very long time. It’s our best ever result in Monaco and we will celebrate this moment. We have reclaimed fifth in the championship, we showed that the VJM09 is a very competitive package and we got a big confidence boost as we head to a number of tracks that will play to our strengths.”

 

The team celebrates

The Sahara Force India F1 Team celebrate third position for Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 and sixth for Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1. Monaco Grand Prix, Sunday 29th May 2016. Monte Carlo, Monaco.

The podium (L to R): Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing, second; Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1, race winner; Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1, third. Monaco Grand Prix, Sunday 29th May 2016. Monte Carlo, Monaco.

The podium (L to R): Daniel Ricciardo, Lewis Hamilton, Sergio Perez.

Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 celebrates his third position with the team. Monaco Grand Prix, Sunday 29th May 2016. Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Monaco qualifying: Force India

Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez

Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09. Monaco Grand Prix, Saturday 28th May 2016. Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Nico Hulkenberg

Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09. Monaco Grand Prix, Saturday 28th May 2016. Monte Carlo, Monaco.

 

Force India delivered a strong qualifying performance in Monaco as Nico Hulkenberg qualified in fifth place ahead of Sergio Perez in eighth. With a grid penalty for Kimi Raikkonen, Perez is expected to start from seventh.

Nico Hülkenberg: “I’m very happy. We knew we had the speed to be inside the top ten today, but to qualify fifth is better than I expected. I’ve had good vibes since the start of the weekend and I’ve felt comfortable and confident since the start of practice on Thursday. We made a big step forward in Barcelona and today’s result shows that the car is working well, especially through the low-speed corners.

“My laps were clean and tidy in Q1 and Q2, and then in Q3 I was on the money and hit the sweet spot with my final lap. Of course, qualifying is only half the job and there is still a long race ahead of us with so many factors that can come into play tomorrow. In Monaco, nothing comes easy; you always have to work hard to earn your result, but I’ve put myself in a good position to come away with some important points.”

Sergio Perez: “We had very good pace today and we made some steps forward compared to Thursday, but I struggled to get heat into the tyres and that’s why I feel a better position was possible. In any case, seventh is a good place to start so we are targeting a strong result. Monaco is probably the most important qualifying session of the year so it’s good to be starting well inside the top ten, but at the same time we know how unpredictable this race can be.

“Anything can happen, such as a safety car or rain, and you need to react quickly and make the right calls. You also need a bit of luck. It will be crucial to start well, as we know that what really matters in Monaco is track position. Tomorrow is going to be a whole different story and I am looking forward to the challenge.”

Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal: “The qualifying session in Monaco can make or break your weekend and so today’s results are extremely satisfying. It’s the first time we’ve had two cars qualify inside the top ten in Monaco and Nico’s fifth place is our highest starting position here, and also our best starting position of the year.

“We’ve looked competitive all the way through practice and Nico and Sergio have steadily built up their speed with each session. They kept their noses clean today, coped with the traffic, and delivered some fantastic laps when it mattered. To be lining up fifth and seventh means we are well placed for a good result tomorrow. Anything can happen in Monaco but I am confident we will be ready to make the most of any opportunity.”

 

Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez

Nico Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg

Spanish GP post race: Force India

Nico Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg

 

Force India scored six points in today’s Spanish Grand Prix with Sergio Perez racing to seventh place. Team mate Nico Hulkenberg was an early retirement following an oil leak and fire.

Sergio Perez
Strategy: Used Soft (9 laps), New Medium (26 laps), New Medium (31 laps)
“It was a very good race and I think we managed to get the maximum result we could hope to achieve today. We were able to keep some very fast cars behind us and we capitalised on the accident on the first lap (between Hamilton and Rosberg) to bring home a good amount of points.

“I had to fend off Felipe (Massa) in the last three laps: I was on very old tyres and he was closing in on me, but I managed to defend my position. This was pretty much the only action I had all afternoon; the rest of my race was quite lonely, which helped me look after the tyres and allowed me to defend in the final few laps. We had a good strategy that helped us leapfrog the Haas and brought us this good result on a track that has never been our strongest.”

Nico Hülkenberg
Strategy: New Soft (10 laps), New Medium (10 laps, DNF)
“It’s frustrating not to finish another race. I saw some smoke coming from the back of my car and then it developed into a fire so I had to park quickly at the side of the track. It’s a shame because I missed the chance to fight for points and we also missed out on learning more about the car in race conditions.

“Sometimes in racing you have periods when things don’t go your way, but you have to keep the faith and believe that sooner or later your luck will change. There are also some positives to take away from this weekend because we’ve made progress with the car and I think the performance will continue to improve. So we will keep working hard and come back stronger at the next one.”

Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal:
“It’s been quite an eventful weekend for us, so it’s fairly satisfying to be leaving Barcelona with six points in our pocket. We made a good step with the car, allowing Sergio to run solidly inside the top ten all afternoon. It’s a track with limited strategy options and few overtaking opportunities so it was quite a lonely and straightforward race for him.

“On the other side of the garage, Nico was out of luck with an oil leak causing a fire and forcing an early retirement. Thankfully Nico was able to park up and helped the marshals extinguish the fire. So it’s been another mixed weekend, but I think our improved performance bodes well for the remainder of the season. As we learn more about this car we have the potential to continue scoring good points at the upcoming races.”

 

Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez

Spanish GP qualifying: Force India

Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez

 

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.”

 

Nico Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg

Australian GP post race – Force India

Nico Hulkenberg in the VJM09.

Nico Hulkenberg in the VJM09.

 

Force India scored six points in today’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix with Nico Hulkenberg coming home in seventh place ahead of Sergio Perez in P13.

P7 Nico Hulkenberg VJM09-01
Strategy: New Softs (16 laps) – New Mediums (41 laps)
“To get some points in the bag at the first race is a positive way to start the year. It was not an easy day and it’s difficult to know what would have happened without the race being stopped and restarted. I think the red flag made things a lot more difficult for our planned one-stop strategy because it gave everybody around us the chance to reset and change their tyres.

“So that was a shame and it meant I was out of position and got stuck behind the Haas for most of the race. It was not easy to get close to Romain and I had a lot of cars behind me, which meant I was always under pressure and having to defend as well as chase. So, given all the circumstances, seventh place feels quite satisfying.”

P13 Sergio Perez VJM09-02
Strategy: New Softs (16 laps) – New Mediums (41 laps)
“It’s a real shame to finish outside of the points. My problems began at the start: I lost a couple of places off the line and that put me in a very difficult position. I spent my first stint behind Alonso, who was on a faster compound, and being stuck in the dirty air destroyed my tyres. Unfortunately there was a very similar situation after the restart because I was passed by Jenson (Button) who was on supersoft tyres and that cost me a lot of time.

“Sadly the Safety Car and the red flag ruined our strategy which was to stop only once. When the race restarted we had our work cut out: I had pressure from behind and the Renaults and Williams ahead were very difficult to catch – I got close but couldn’t really attack. In the end I had an issue with overheating brakes, probably because I spent most of the race in traffic, but we still managed to finish the race.

“It’s not an ideal start of the season for me, especially after the good work we had done in qualifying yesterday, but we have to keep looking ahead and continue working hard.”

Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal
“The first race is always a bit of a step into the unknown, so getting some points on the board is a positive conclusion to a challenging weekend. Our strategy was shaping up very nicely with the plan to stop both cars only once, but the red flag reset the strategies of everyone around us and made our task much more difficult.

“Making our pit stops just prior to the safety car also cost us track position. Getting Nico back up to seventh place was a good recovery and he did an excellent job of containing Bottas and the Toro Rosso pair for most of the afternoon. Sergio’s strategy was also undone by the red flag, even more so than Nico’s because he dropped to the back of the midfield traffic jam and suffered with high tyre degradation. So a day of mixed fortunes for us, but at least we’ve got some points on the board and we are looking forward to Bahrain.”

 

Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez

Japanese GP post race: Lotus

 

Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 E23. Japanese Grand Prix, Sunday 27th September 2015. Suzuka, Japan.

 

Lotus F1 completed a strong Japanese Grand Prix with both cars finishing in the top eight for the first time since the Indian Grand Prix in 2013. Grosjean took seventh, with Maldonado finishing just 1.3 seconds behind him in eighth. Grosjean started from P8 on the grid on his qualifying medium compound tyres. He changed to scrubbed mediums on lap 11 and new hards on lap 33. Maldonado started from P11 on new medium tyres, changing to new mediums on lap 12, and new hards on lap 36.

Romain Grosjean, P7, E23-04:
“We finished with both cars in the points so I’m definitely happy with that! When it came to my own race we were a little bit slow against the Force India. We tried to fight Nico Hulkenberg but couldn’t. I really struggled with the tyres at the end – it seems the new Pirelli limits hurt us more than our rivals so we’ll work around that for the next race. Overall though, we’ve had a good result as a team.”

Pastor Maldonado, P8, E23-03:
“It was a good race for us and we really deserved a happy result today after pushing hard all weekend. It’s a shame we weren’t able to keep Hulkenberg behind us so we’ll review the strategy and performance to see if there was more we could have done. The team has been united all weekend, we scored some nice points and we’re looking forward to the rest of the season.”

Federico Gastaldi, Deputy Team Principal:
“It’s a great result for all of the team after a reasonably challenging weekend. It just goes to show that you can never discount an Enstone team no matter what the circumstances. We have to say thank you to all the crew at the track for working through a slightly unusual situation as well as thank you to Bernie for his help behind the scenes. We’re looking forward to continuing to fight back in Sochi.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:
“It’s great to get both cars solidly in the points and score more than our immediate championship rivals Force India and Toro Rosso. Force India looked stronger than us in the race and we didn’t have the pace to match Hulkenberg today. It was nevertheless a good performance from both drivers and the entire team.”

 

Romain Grosjean

Romain Grosjean

Austria post race: Sahara Force India

Nico Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg

 

Sahara Force India scored 10 points in today’s Austrian Grand Prix as the team moved up to fifth place in the Constructors’ championship.

P6 Nico Hulkenberg VJM08-01
Strategy: Used SuperSofts (25 laps) – New Softs (46 laps)

Nico Hulkenberg: “I’m very satisfied with sixth place today. Going into the race we always knew it would be difficult to keep the Williams of Bottas behind me, so bringing the car home in sixth was probably the maximum we could achieve. I had some good wheel-to-wheel battles with him and we swapped places a few times, but it was hard to match their absolute pace. Overall it’s been a great weekend: I found a nice rhythm and I have been very happy with the performance of the car. With Checo in the points as well, it’s been an excellent weekend for us and we can be proud of what we’ve achieved. It’s an important boost ahead of Silverstone where we hope to make another step forward.”

P9 Sergio Perez VJM08-02
Strategy: New Softs (38 laps) – New SuperSofts (32 laps)

Sergio Perez: “It is a great result for the team to come away with so many points. We’ve moved up to fifth in the championship and that’s an incredible effort by everyone in the team. I had a great start and first lap: the target was to get ahead of Maldonado as he was the first driver on the prime tyre and we managed to do that. In the first stint I had a lot of pressure from both the Lotus drivers, but we held strong and the race was looking really good. Unfortunately, we lost some time in a slow pit stop and it was a bit difficult to recover after that, especially as that placed us behind Ericsson and Nasr. The second stint was not very easy because I had some very strong vibrations on the front tyres and that cost me some pace. All in all, considering our position on the grid, it was a good race. I think we could have been a couple of places ahead if everything had gone to plan, but it’s still a good result.”

Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal:
“To come away from Austria with ten more points and fifth place in the championship is a tremendous result. We’ve shown good pace all weekend and it’s very satisfying to convert that speed into valuable points. Nico drove a very clean and tidy race, and realistically it would have been difficult to have finished higher up the order. The same is true for Sergio who was on the opposite strategy to Nico, but made the progress he needed in the early laps on the soft tyres. Despite a slightly lengthy pit stop he was able to recover to ninth place and pick up a couple of points. It means that we remain very well placed ahead of our local race at Silverstone where we plan to introduce the next step for the VJM08.”

 

Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez

Jordan-Force India nostalgia

It’s funny what you find in the archives. Just been sifting through old images. Bring back memories?

 

Ralf Schumacher (GER) in the Force India garage. Formula One Testing, Day Two, Jerez, Spain, Wednesday, 5 December 2007.

Ralf Schumacher (left) in the Force India garage, Jerez, Spain, Wednesday, 5 December 2007.

Ralf Schumacher (GER) is testing for Force India F1. Formula One Testing, Day Three, Jerez, Spain, Thursday, 6 December 2007.

Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) tests for Force India   Formula One Testing, Day Two, Jerez, Spain, 05 December 2007.

Giancarlo Fisichella, 2007.

Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA) Force India   Formula One Testing, Day Three, Jerez, Spain, 06 December 2007.

Vitantonio Liuzzi, 2007.

Force India Factory. Force India Factory, Silverstone, England.  23 November 2007

The former Jordan GP now Force India Factory, Silverstone, 2007.

 

… but here are the crackers. Ah, the drums. Dear old Eddie:

 

Giedo Van Der Garde (NED) Force India  Formula One Testing, Barcelona, Spain, 13 November 2007.

Giedo Van Der Garde, Barcelona, Spain, 13 November 2007.

Eddie Jordan (IRE) and his band 'The Robbers'  Force India F1 Christmas Party, 20 December 2007. Force India F1 Factory, Silverstone, UK

Eddie Jordan and his band ‘The Robbers’, Force India F1 Christmas Party, 20 December 2007. Force India F1 Factory, Silverstone.

(L to R): Eddie Jordan (IRE) and Vijay Mallya (IND) Force India F1 Team Owner   Force India F1 Christmas Party, 20 December 2007. Force India F1 Factory, Silverstone, UK

Eddie Jordan and Vijay Mallya (right) Force India F1 Team Owner.

Vijay Mallya (IND) Force India F1 Team Owner   Force India F1 Christmas Party, 20 December 2007. Force India F1 Factory, Silverstone, UK

Eddie Jordan (IRE)  Force India F1 Christmas Party, 20 December 2007. Force India F1 Factory, Silverstone, UK

Barcelona tests: Day 1

Sergio Perez in the VJM07.

Sergio Perez in the VJM07

 

Sahara Force India opened its 2015 season with a positive day of testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. 20-year-old German Pascal Wehrlein made his debut behind the wheel of the VJM07 in the morning, with race driver Sergio Perez taking over in the afternoon as the team completed 66 laps.

Pascal Wehrlein #34
Chassis: VJM07-02
Laps: 32 laps
Mileage: 149 km
Fastest lap: 1:28.329
Classification: P8 of 11

Pascal Wehrlein: “It was great to spend the morning with Force India and to have the opportunity to drive their car for the first time. It’s a good team and everyone was really welcoming. After a few laps I felt very comfortable and confident in the car. Then, of course, I had to move across one garage and drive the Mercedes for the afternoon which was a bit of a surprise. But I will have another day with Force India this week. Driving two Formula One cars in one day was amazing and I am really looking forward to getting back out there again.”

Sergio Perez #11
Chassis: VJM07-02
Laps: 34 laps
Mileage: 158 km
Fastest lap: 1:26.636
Classification: P4 of 11

Sergio Perez: “It’s a very nice feeling to be back on track after the break and to start getting back into a racing rhythm. When I got the call to come to the track, I was really excited about having an earlier start than planned. There is so much to do: I have to get to know my new race engineer, Tim, we have new tyres and new parts to try. I think it was a positive afternoon and a good head-start on the work we are planning to do tomorrow. We can be happy about our day’s work, it was a promising beginning and we can build on it in the remaining three days. 34 laps was a good number for half a day and tomorrow we will be aiming to add many more to the tally.”

Tom McCullough, Chief Race Engineer: “It was a very positive start to our on-track season with no technical issues and lots of mileage. Even though we had to deal with an unplanned driver change, we managed to achieve all our main goals for the day. Pascal settled into the team straight away and was able to give good feedback on the test items he covered this morning; for Sergio, it was a matter of getting back to action and having his first experience with the 2015 tyres as he completed all the outstanding items on our test programme. In addition to the work on the new Pirellis, we completed a series of tests on development mechanical components on the VJM07. The aim is to have a similarly productive day tomorrow.”

 

Germany's Pascal Wehrlein

Germany’s Pascal Wehrlein

 

Lotus F1 topped the times on the first day of testing with Pastor Maldonado setting a fastest time of 1min 25.011secs during the course of completing 69 laps at the track.

Track: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain, 4.7km
Chassis: E23-02
Weather: Cold and sunny. Ambient 5°C – 17°C Track 8°C – 27°C
Programme: Mileage accumulation and set-up evaluation
Laps Completed: 69
Classification: P1, 1:25.011
Interruptions: Software related shutdowns in the morning, clutch change in the afternoon.

Pastor Maldonado: “It is always good to see your name at the top of the timing monitors and my fastest lap was just in the course of our normal programme for the day. It feels good to drive the E23 in Barcelona. The car responded well to the changes we made and we were able to complete a good number of laps. The team has made strong progress since Jerez and we have a great starting point for the rest of the week. The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is a perfect track to assess a new car so we’re happy with progress today.”

 

Pastor Maldonado in the E23

Pastor Maldonado in the E23 (and below)

 

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Two - Day 1 -  Barcelona, Spain
Nick Chester, Technical Director: “It’s been a positive day. We had a couple of software niggles in the morning then we were able to work through a solid programme of setup work during which we racked up a good number of laps. The car did have an extended lunch break whilst we changed the clutch, then we were able to complete further work in the afternoon. We’re happy that we’ve made good steps forward since Jerez and we’re working steadily through our evaluations whilst confirming directions for improvement.”

 

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Two - Day 1 -  Barcelona, Spain

 

 

Williams

Driver: Susie Wolff
Chassis/Engine: FW37-02/PU106B hybrid
Location: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 4.655km
Objectives: Race simulation, systems and reliability checks
Weather: Warm and Dry
Air and track temps: 4 – 17ºC / 12 – 27ºC

Rod Nelson, Chief Test and Support Engineer: “We have had a reasonably successful day adding mileage to the FW37. The morning’s focus was on completing a race distance and further set-up work with the car. This afternoon we had some system checks planned, but unfortunately lost a lot of time which affected the programme. We will be able to add these back in later in the week, it’s just a shame for Susie to lose the time in the car when we were having a productive day.”

Susie Wolff: “We learnt a lot today. Carrying out some longer runs in the morning gave me experience of tyre management and it was good to get time in the FW37. The car has a lot of potential and the number of laps we completed today gave the team a lot of data. It’s just a shame I didn’t get the chance to drive the faster tyre. I got a good feeling of the car and as a driver, have learnt a lot.”

 

 

Suit’s you, sir…

Nicely turned out, gentlemen...

Nicely turned out, gentlemen…

 

The F1 teams usually roll out their ‘apparel’ or kit sponsors at the beginning of the season, and they don’t attract much attention.

However, seeing how much ‘image’ is rolling in the bucks for the team this year I did smile when Sahara Force India informed me that it was:

“…pleased to welcome Apsley Tailors as the team’s supplier of bespoke tailoring. The London-based brand will dress the team’s race drivers and senior management with a range of clothing options including suits, blazers and jackets to be worn throughout the 2015 season…”

With a 125-year heritage, Apsley Tailors has built its worldwide reputation on a tradition of quality and comfort. Everything it produces is bespoke and made to measure, which draws immediate parallels with Sahara Force India’s Formula One cars. It is this attention to detail and insistence on design perfection that makes Apsley the ideal brand to dress the team with style and elegance.

I’ll now remove the tongue from my cheek completely and insist they send me the complete ensemble before attending the GP. I’m a very British gent after all…

 

%d bloggers like this: