Monaco post race: Sahara Force India

Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM08. Monaco Grand Prix, Sunday 24th May 2015. Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Sergio Perez

Dr. Vijay Mallya (IND) Sahara Force India F1 Team Owner on the grid. Monaco Grand Prix, Sunday 24th May 2015. Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Dr Vijay Mallya, Sahara Force India F1’s team owner on the grid.


The team scored six points today as Sergio Perez raced to seventh place – securing his first points finish on the streets of Monaco. Team mate Nico Hulkenberg recovered to P11 after being pushed into the wall by Fernando Alonso on lap one of the race.

P7 Sergio Perez VJM08-02
Strategy: Used SuperSofts (36 laps) – New Softs (28 laps) – Used SuperSofts (14 laps)
“I’m very happy right now. As a team we’ve done a fantastic job all weekend and seventh place is the result of all this hard work. For me it was a normal race – very straightforward and quiet, which is strange for Monaco. I was racing on my own for most of the race because the cars ahead were able to pull a gap on me and I had space to the cars behind. It was difficult to keep concentration for 78 laps, but after the safety car I was on fresh supersoft tyres and it was really good fun. I was able to attack Kimi (Raikkonen), but there wasn’t an opportunity to get the position. It’s a very important result for the whole team and gives us six points for the championship. It means I’ve scored points in half the races this season, which shows we’ve done a good job of maximising our opportunities.”

P11 Nico Hulkenberg VJM08-01
Strategy: New Softs (1 lap) – New SuperSofts (30 laps) – New Softs (47 laps)
“My race was obviously very difficult right from the start: Fernando (Alonso) more or less pushed me into the wall on the first lap and from that moment I basically had to play catch up. I knew he was there so I left him a bit more space and turned in later, but he must have locked up as he crashed into me and sent me straight into the wall. The only damage was to the front wing, but getting back to the pits and changing the wing cost me a lot of time. My race was already compromised then – it is not easy to race from so far back because you have to let the leaders through and you’re on the back foot the whole time. In terms of pace I was doing quite well, especially when in clean air, but obviously getting lapped costs you a lot of time. It is a shame as I feel that without the incident I would have been well into the points today. I still take encouragement from our pace and hopefully we can maximise the next weekend in Canada and get some more points.”

Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director
“Monaco always gives us an opportunity to shine and seventh place for Sergio is a fantastic result for the team. We did most of the hard work yesterday in qualifying and Sergio delivered a faultless performance this afternoon. He should be very proud of scoring his first points in Monaco. I feel very disappointed for Nico who was unlucky to be hit by Fernando. He had similar pace to Sergio and would surely have scored good points as well. With six points we have moved up to sixth in the championship. The team is doing a tremendous job and the result today helps keep the pressure on the teams around us.”

Team pit stop.

Team pit stop.

Monaco qualifying: Force India

Nico Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg


Sahara Force India showed well on the streets of Monaco with Sergio Perez qualifying in seventh place – the team’s best starting position of the year so far. Nico Hulkenberg progressed to Q2 and qualified P13 (but he’s expected to start from P11).

P7 Sergio Perez VJM08-02
Q1: 1:17.376 Q2: 1:16.999 Q3: 1:16.808
“I’m really happy and excited with seventh place today. I always say qualifying in Monaco counts for 90% of your final result, so it was important to be strong. To be quick here you need confidence in the car and in yourself, and I had both today. To make it through to Q3 was already a great effort by the team, but to be starting P7 means we have already done a lot of the hard work for the race. We went out early in Q3 because we thought the rain was coming and I had a mega lap. I was worried some of the others might improve their times, especially with the track evolution, but fortunately it was not the case. Tomorrow we have a good opportunity to score some important points. We know that anything can happen on a Sunday in Monaco, but I’m focused on getting a clean start and a good first lap.”

P13 Nico Hulkenberg VJM08-01
Q1: 1:17.552 Q2: 1:17.193
“My final lap was a very good one and I believe I could have been firmly in the top ten, but unfortunately I made a small mistake in the final corner, which cost me enough time to miss out on Q3. Obviously it is disappointing, especially knowing how important your starting position is here. I am likely to be 11th on the grid, which means we will need to choose the right strategy to try and make up some positions. If we make the right calls tomorrow, we should be able to get some points. The brush with the wall in Q1 didn’t do any damage but it cost a lot in terms of rhythm: you spend a long time trying to get the right confidence around Monaco and an incident like this sets you back a little. Qualifying in Monaco is always a challenge, but one I really enjoyed. The car feels much better than it did in Barcelona and we seem to have more performance in our hands which is encouraging. Nevertheless, I expect a tough race where good tyre management will be especially important.”

Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director
“Today’s strong performance in qualifying is an important boost for the team. Sergio’s laps were competitive right from the off and he had the confidence to extract every fraction of a second from the car. It’s an important result because track position is essential around here. Nico also looked on course for a top ten qualifying position, but fell just short of the mark: it is proof of how competitive the midfield is at the moment that one small mistake can cost so many positions on the grid. Nonetheless, both drivers seemed happy with the car and this gives us confidence for tomorrow. Overtaking is hard on this track, but as this team has shown in previous years it can be done. With an aggressive strategy we should be able to target points for both cars.”

Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez

Monaco qualifying: Williams

Monte Carlo, Monaco. Thursday 21 May 2015. Felipe Massa, Williams F1. Photo: Glenn Dunbar/Williams ref: Digital Image _89P8735

Felipe Massa

Monte Carlo, Monaco. Thursday 21 May 2015. Valtteri Bottas, Williams F1. Photo: Glenn Dunbar/Williams ref: Digital Image _W2Q5416

Valtteri Bottas


Felipe Massa qualified 14th and Valtteri Bottas 17th for the Monaco Grand Prix. Both drivers found it difficult to get the tyres up to temperature and found an overall lack of grip which hindered their ability to make it into Q3.

Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: “It was clearly a tough qualifying session for us and we are out of our usual position. We have been pouring through the data all week to try and find ways to improve our pace here, and whilst we have made some inroads, qualifying has just come too soon for us to recover everything. Starting 14th and 17th in Monaco is never ideal because it so difficult to overtake, but we will see what we can do and the aim will be to get both cars home in the points.”

Felipe Massa: “There were no major issues during qualifying that caused us to be out of position; Monaco just isn’t a circuit that suits the characteristics of our car. We struggled throughout the day and found it hard to set the lap times we wanted. Tomorrow won’t be easy, but anything is possible due to the nature of the track. It’s not a great result as we have become used to qualifying higher, but I’m confident we can still get points and that must be our focus.”

Valtteri Bottas: “I had some traffic on my initial option run and couldn’t go at the sort of pace needed to keep the tyre temperatures correct, and on my timed lap I just lacked overall grip throughout the lap. We knew this track was not going to suit our car and we’ve been struggling to get the tyres to work throughout the weekend. Then again this is the sort of track where lots of things can happen and if we stay out of trouble and finish the race then points are still possible.”


Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain. Wednesday 13 May 2015. Alex Lynn, Williams FW37 Mercedes.  World Copyright: Alastair Staley/Williams. ref: Digital Image _79P3668

Monte Carlo, Monaco. Thursday 21 May 2015. Felipe Massa, Williams F1. Photo: Glenn Dunbar/Williams ref: Digital Image _W2Q5227

Monte Carlo, Monaco. Thursday 21 May 2015. Valtteri Bottas, Williams F1. Photo: Glenn Dunbar/Williams ref: Digital Image _W2Q5416

Valtteri Bottas, and below with team members.

Monte Carlo, Monaco. Thursday 21 May 2015. Valtteri Bottas, Williams F1. Photo: Steven Tee/Williams ref: Digital Image _X0W8251


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