Qualifying Malaysian GP report: Force India Mercedes
A wet Saturday afternoon in Sepang saw Sahara Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg qualify in seventh place with teammate Sergio Perez ending the session in P14.
“It was pretty challenging with the weather conditions today. There was so much rain, standing water and spray. Visibility was an issue and it was hard to see your braking points. It’s tricky to drive these engines with lots of torque in these conditions and you need to be really smooth with the throttle out of the slow corners, but I enjoyed the challenge. We’re in P7 and in the top ten on the grid for the second time in a row, which is a result we can be satisfied with. I think we have shown all weekend that we have the speed to be top ten material whether it’s wet or dry and I hope to score a good helping of points tomorrow.”
“The conditions out there were very difficult and they kept changing with every lap, especially during Q2. I had a better feeling on the intermediate tyres and when I changed to the full wets I struggled to keep the temperature in them, which made it hard to put together a good lap. Tomorrow we will need to try and recover from P14, but we have to see what the weather will do. I also need to solve the rear locking which is affecting me under braking in the wet conditions. I’m still confident we can have a good race and I will keep fighting to score as many points as possible.”
Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director
“Another very wet qualifying session in Sepang presented us with challenging conditions today. Nico looked comfortable in the wet and matched his starting position from Melbourne with seventh place. He has been in the top ten in all the sessions this weekend and should be in good shape for tomorrow. Sergio struggled more in the wet and didn’t have confidence on the wet tyres. We will try and solve those issues tonight because there’s a good chance of more rain tomorrow. Whether it’s wet or dry I’d like to see both Sahara Force India cars well inside the top ten.”