The Sahara Force India Formula One Team rounded off their successful season in style as both Sergio ‘Checo’ Perez and Nico Hulkenberg finished the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in the points. Perez who started the race from fourth place came home in fifth place just behind Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and speaking following the event the Mexican who scored a podium for the Silverstone based outfit in Russian commented by saying:
It feels great to end the season with a strong performance and I’m very satisfied with how everything has gone this weekend – both in qualifying and the race. We pushed hard to try and beat Vettel today, but he had too much pace on the supersofts and it wasn’t possible to hold him back. The rest of the race was straightforward for me, with no big dramas, because I was on my own looking after the tyres. When I was running fourth I was pushing very hard to stay within Vettel’s pit window, which took a lot from my tyres and meant that Ricciardo was able to get close to me at the end of the race. Fortunately I had enough left to hold him off. I think we got the maximum that was available to us and we can be proud of our performance. Looking back on the whole season it’s been my best year in Formula One and the most successful year for the team. There is a lot of potential for next season and we will be aiming even higher.
Nico Hulkenberg finished the race where he started in seventh place scoring some more valuable points for the team. Speaking following the Grand Prix, Hulkenberg who learnt this weekend that Porsche were cutting their third car from the LeMans programme to reduce costs meaning that even if the schedule allowed he would not have been able to defend his 24 Hr title, commented by saying:
The race was a bit of a struggle at times, and I had a hard job on my hands. The start was pretty good – everyone went to the inside so I stuck to the outside. It was a brave move and I was able to make up a few places. However, I had a lot of understeer and it was difficult to get the car to turn in, especially at a track with so many tight corners, so I suffered in the first two stints. The final part of the race was a bit better and I was able to get into a rhythm, which was important to keep our position. It was a tough race so it was a really good result to come home with seventh place. It’s been a good season for the team and we will be aiming to build on it over the winter months. From a personal point of view, it hasn’t been one of my best years but it gives me an opportunity to learn from what happened and come back stronger. I am already looking forward to 2016 and working hard to make sure we are competitive from the first race of the season
The Sahara Force India Formula One Team ended the season in fifth place on 136 points, their highest championship finishing position since their debut in 2008. The Silverstone based outfit’s Chief Operating Officer Otmar Szafnauer commented on the teams season saying:
We end the season with a strong result and 16 world championship points – the most we’ve scored at any race this season. The strong result is the ideal way to conclude the most successful season in the team’s history. The car has been working very well here and the team has done a fantastic job to deliver our most competitive performance of the year in terms of outright pace. Today’s result shows just how much progress we have made this season and gives me confidence ahead of 2016. The second part of the season is testament to the hard work of everyone in the team and highlights the upward direction the team has followed in the last few years. We will celebrate this year’s results, but we know we cannot rest on our laurels: we’re already at work on our 2016 cars to pick up where we left off tonight and be competitive from the start of next year’s championship.