Sahara Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg started the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring on the front row in second place however sadly when it came to the race the Hulk was left disappointed as he was forced to retire from the race and speaking following the event he commented by saying:
I’m pretty disappointed and gutted, to be honest. It was a really tough race and nothing really worked out for us. The start wasn’t great and I dropped a couple of positions on lap one, but the opening stint was very difficult because the car was sliding around and the tyres were graining. That became the story of my race because the balance of the car wasn’t allowing me to manage the tyres and I was suffering with so much graining. With a new set I could manage just three of four laps before they fell away. Towards the end of the race I had some vibrations with the car and the team saw that I was critical on brake wear, which is why we retired the car in the end. We have to digest and understand what happened today and then look forward to Silverstone.
Following the race which saw neither driver finish Force India remain in fifth place in the championship on 59 points and speaking following the race deputy team principal Robert Fernley commented by saying:
Not the way we wanted to end our weekend after all of the promise we showed yesterday, but that is the harsh deal racing sometimes hands you. We looked on course to score some good points with Sergio, who had completed a great comeback to P8 from a low grid position, but unfortunately he suffered a brake problem on the last lap and ended up in the gravel. It’s a shame as he would have richly deserved this result after a determined performance. Nico lost a few places at the start and then all his tyres suffered from graining. The timing of the safety car also didn’t play into his hands. In the end, his race was brought to an end early as we saw some brake issues arising on his car and we called him in to retire as a precautionary measure. It’s disappointing not to score, but we will regroup and try to bounce back for our home Grand Prix in Silverstone.
Sergio ‘Checo’ Perez retired from the race on the final lap following an accident and was classified in 17th place and speaking following the race the Mexican commented by saying:
It’s a big shame that we retired on the last lap of the race. I’m feeling sad for the team because we really deserved some points. Yesterday and today we have been really unlucky, and it’s frustrating because we’ve been competitive here with our pace. The race was going really well and I thought we had the points in our pocket. I was pushing hard to stay close to Grosjean because I knew he had a five seconds time penalty. Then, on the final lap, going into turn three, I had no brakes and went straight on. I touched the barrier and damaged the front of the car, but I’m perfectly okay. It’s annoying because the team did everything right today and it’s just bad luck which stopped our great recovery.