The Sahara Force India Formula One Team were delighted following the final race of the season which saw them not only bring both cars home in the points but it doing so, they ended the 2016 season in fourth place in the championship, their best finish since entering Formula One.
In his final race for the Silverstone based outfit before he moves to the Renault Sport F1 Team for the 2017 season, Nico Hulkenberg finished the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in seventh place just ahead of team mate Sergio Perez.
Speaking following the race, Hulkenberg commented by saying:
It was quite a simple and lonely race actually, mainly racing with my teammate because the top six cars were just out of reach. Turn one was quite interesting because I got hit by Max [Verstappen], which damaged the floor of my car and made things a bit more difficult. Fortunately we had the pace to hold position and bring home the result. It’s great to end my time at Force India with a strong result and help the team finish fourth in the championship. Everybody deserves congratulations and big credit for the amazing job this year. I leave this team with lots of happy memories and Force India will always be a part of my life. I’ve learned a huge amount here and they have made me a better racing driver. We’ve grown up together and I’m proud of what we have achieved.
Sergio Perez ended the race just behind his team mate in eighth place and as I revealed during my commentary on Sunday’s race for Hudson Live, the Mexican will have a new team mate in 2017, with Esteban Ocon joining the team from Manor while he had turned down the opportunity to move to Renault, Checo Perez finished the year ahead of Hulkenberg in the championship.
Speaking after finishing the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Perez commented by saying:
I am pleased with my race. I finished where I started and it was a quiet race for most of it, but it got a bit tense in the final laps when I had to fend off Felipe [Massa]. I pushed really hard at the beginning of my stints, trying to close the gap to Nico, but in the end I finished just behind him. It was great to finish the season with some points and to end an incredible year with a good result. Now that the season is over, I will go back to Mexico and enjoy some rest. It’s been a long and intense year and I am looking forward to some downtime with friends and family. They’re going to be happy holidays, thinking about what we have achieved this year. I’ll chill out a bit and then it’s back to work for 2017!”
Force India had their best season to date in Formula One and will be hoping that they can use their performances from 2016 as a platform for the 2017 season. The Silverstone based outfit ended the year in fourth place in the Constructors championship on 173 points.
Deputy team principal at Force India Robert Fernley was delighted with the outfit’s performance in 2016 and praised Sergio Perez, who became the first driver with the Silverstone based outfit to score 100 points.
Speaking following the race, Fernley commented by saying:
To end the season with two cars solidly inside the points and with fourth place in the constructors’ championship feels fantastic. It has been a tremendous year for us and it’s important to pay tribute to each and every member of the team for all their hard work and hours of dedication back at base and at the track. All the effort has paid off and we can now celebrate the best ever year in our history. Both drivers did a super job today, as they have done all year long. It’s great that Nico could end his time with us on a high note and we thank him for everything he has done for us during his five years as a Force India driver. He’s been a big part of our journey up the grid and it has been a pleasure working with him. Credit to Sergio, as well, who becomes the first Force India driver to cross the 100 points in a season milestone. He’s been exceptional this year and fully deserves to finish seventh in the drivers’ championship.