Sahara Force India’s Sergio Perez finished Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix in ninth place having started the event from fifth place on the grid and speaking following the race, the Mexican commented by saying:
Things got quite complicated on lap one when Alonso pushed me wide at turn two. I was on the grass and lost another position to Massa. That was very costly for my race because I spent the whole afternoon trying to recover. We certainly had the pace to finish in seventh, but the very high track temperatures made things difficult because as soon as you tried to attack you suffered with massive tyre degradation. We tried to change our strategy to overcome things, but it wasn’t enough to recover the seventh place. In the final few laps I was very close to Massa and Alonso. Massa was quick in the final sector, while Alonso was fast through sector two and had the benefit of DRS to help him defend down the straights. Maybe if there had been one more lap it would have been enough to overtake them. Considering the way things unfolded, I’m happy with the result but not totally satisfied.
Esteban Ocon started the race from tenth place but was forced to retire from the race as a result of a collision with Romain Grosjean who was penalized for the incident. Speaking following the race, the Frenchman commented by saying:
I’m not happy to retire from the race. I knew this day would come at some stage, but I wasn’t expecting it to be today. It’s a shame because it has been three years since my last retirement in single-seaters [in 2014]. There was nothing I could do; Romain [Grosjean] lost the car in turn six and crashed into me. He made a mistake and I suffered from it, my front wheel rim was damaged so I couldn’t even drive back to the pits. It’s frustrating because the car was quick and we had the pace to be fighting up there with Checo. Days like this happen but I hope it will be another three years before it happens again.
Force India’s deputy team principal Robert Fernley commented on the outcome of the race by saying:
It was disappointing to see Esteban’s fantastic run of consecutive finishes come to an end on the opening lap. He was tapped into a spin as he was making a move on Grosjean into turn six: there was nothing he could really do to avoid the incident because he was simply the innocent victim of another driver’s mistake. Being pushed wide at turn two by Alonso compromised Checo’s race as both Alonso and Massa were able to come past him before the Safety Car was deployed. Checo conserved his tyres well on an alternative strategy and got very close to Alonso and Massa at the end, but ultimately wasn’t able to overtake them. Despite having the fourth quickest car, we’ve not been able to maximise our results today so we will look ahead to Abu Dhabi, determined to end our most successful season to date on a high note.