Qualifying - Russian GP report: Force India Mercedes
Sahara Force India enjoyed a strong showing in Sochi with Sergio Perez qualifying in seventh place for tomorrow’s Russian Grand Prix. Nico Hulkenberg will start the race from P13.
“I am very pleased with our performance today and my final lap in Q3 was fantastic – just when it mattered. We were strong in Q1 and Q2; I was feeling very comfortable in the car and I was able to deliver great laps in each of the sessions. We are making good progress as a team and our pace over one lap is very strong: it will be interesting to see how we perform tomorrow because we have a fast car behind us and it will be a big challenge to hold our position. This is not a track that helps overtaking so there should be some nice battles. We have enough tyres to choose the best strategy tomorrow and I am optimistic we can come away with a nice result.”
“It was a fairly straightforward qualifying session, but not with the outcome I wanted. I’ve not felt comfortable since I jumped in the car yesterday and it’s been a struggle to find the grip and performance we were expecting. We changed a lot of parts overnight and before qualifying, but it didn’t take us in the direction we needed. Obviously we can’t change the car ahead of the race so I think it’s going to be a tough Sunday considering how close things are in the middle of the grid.”
Otmar Szafnauer, Chief Operating Officer
“It’s great to see us continue our run of top ten qualifying results with Checo putting in a great lap when it mattered in Q3. We expect him to move up a position with Vettel taking a penalty, so he should line up sixth on the grid. It’s another example of the inherent speed we have in this car and hopefully we can deliver similar race pace tomorrow. Nico’s session was relatively uneventful, but he felt the car was sliding underneath him and that showed in his final qualifying position. There’s still a long race ahead of us and anything can happen tomorrow, but we have our eyes firmly set on scoring some good points with both cars.”