OUD-BEIJERLAND, The Netherlands, October 10th, 2016 – Sahara Force India scored seven points in today’s Mexican Grand Prix as Nico Hulkenberg raced to seventh place ahead of Sergio Perez in tenth.
P7 Nico Hülkenberg VJM09-03
Nico: “Definitely not a bad effort today and the best result we could hope for in regular circumstances. I made a great start, but once the pit stops were out of the way, it turned out to be quite a lonely afternoon for me. This allowed me to manage my tyres and my pace. At the end, the battle with Kimi [Raikkonen] was always going to be difficult, because he had a massive tyre advantage over me: I was surprised we could keep him behind for so long. I tried to defend as hard as I could on the inside, but braking on a dirty line with 60-lap-old tyres is quite tricky! He turned in on me and there was no way I could stop the car, so I forced it into a spin to avoid a crash. In the end, it was a good weekend: qualifying was my highlight and we’ve come away with a solid result today. We leave Mexico having strengthened our fourth place in the constructors’ championship, so there is plenty to smile about tonight.”
P10 Sergio Perez VJM09-02
Sergio: “Even though I scored a point today, it was a very frustrating race being stuck behind the Williams cars and unable to overtake. I tried everything I could, but it’s not easy because they had a straight-line speed advantage. There were a few occasions when I was very close to making the move stick on Felipe [Massa], but in the end it just wasn’t possible. I think maybe we could have tried something different with the strategy because we underestimated the effect of the medium tyre, which turned out to have much more life than we expected. So perhaps we could have pitted earlier and run longer on the medium. That’s something we need to analyse and understand if it would have made a difference to our result. Even with the tenth place today the fans were cheering for me. They are so loyal; always behind me and they have given me so much positive energy all week. Although I wanted to give them a better result, this has still been the most enjoyable race of the year.”
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal
“Scoring seven points in Mexico is an excellent result after a very strong performance by the team all weekend long. The pace of the car was excellent and both drivers delivered what we needed. Nico was pushing hard in the closing laps to keep the Ferrari of Raikkonen at bay, but in the end seventh was the maximum result achievable. Sergio spent most of his race behind the Williams cars, but despite his best efforts he had to settle for the final point. It means we’ve increased our points’ advantage in the constructors’ championship with just two races to go. We also take encouragement from the pace we have shown in both qualifying and the race.”
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