The Sahara Force India Formula One Team ended what has been a fantastic season for the Silverstone based outfit with a double points finish in the season ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit.
The team finished in fourth place in the Constructors championship for the second year in a row with 187 points.
Sergio ‘Checo’ Perez started Sunday’s 55 lap race from eighth place on the grid with the Mexican having a strong race to bring his car home in seventh place finishing the year in seventh place in the drivers championship on 100 points.
Speaking following the race, Perez commented by saying:
It wasn’t the most exciting race for me, but I had a very busy first lap battling with Nico [Hulkenberg]. I think his penalty was very strange because I was ahead of him and he just cut the corner, gaining a big advantage and a position. He had more pace and in clean air he could just go and make up enough time to make the penalty useless. He should have just given up the position, as is required and as he did later in the race with Grosjean, and he would have had to overtake me on track.
“I am happy with the result today and it was important to finish this year strongly. It’s my first year at Force India without a podium, but I think we made a big step forward. I scored one point less than last year with just 20 races on the calendar instead of 21. The overall result is great: seventh in the drivers’ championship and fourth in the teams’ standings. I don’t think we could do anything better than that this year and I hope we can continue this way into 2018.
Esteban Ocon ended his first full season in Formula One with an eighth place finish having started the race from ninth on the grid. The Frenchman finished the season in eighth place in the championship on 87 points and speaking following the race he commented by saying:
It was a really quiet race with not a huge amount of things happening. The start was the busy moment when I almost got ahead of Hulkenberg, but he was on the racing line and he was able to brake later. From there I was running a different strategy compared to Checo and although I was getting closer to him at the end, I just didn’t have enough laps to catch him. It’s nice to end the year with another strong result and I’m really proud of what we have achieved as a team this year. The winter months ahead will involve a lot of training so that I can come back even stronger in 2018.
Sahara Force India ended the season with 187 points and speaking following the race, deputy team principal, Robert Fernley commented by saying:
We’ve ended the year as we started it with both cars firmly inside the points. Seventh and eighth places bring our points tally to 187 to sign-off our most successful season ever. As we’ve said before, the credit needs to go to each and every one of the 400 team members who have contributed to this achievement, as well as the support of our commercial partners. Today’s race was fairly straightforward and there wasn’t much to choose between the different strategies run by each car. It’s nice to end the season on a positive note ahead of a busy winter finalising the new car for 2018.