The Sahara Force India Formula One Team endured a difficult Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday as Sergio Perez ended the event in 11th place and speaking following the race, the Mexican commented by saying:
Today things didn’t go our way and the timing of the safety car didn’t help me. The start of the race was really good and things looked very promising. I was up in third place when the safety car came out and we had no option but to pit, which dropped me back into the pack. I had to fight hard because the cars around me were on different tyres and there were some quick cars recovering as well. All of this took a lot of the life from my tyres. There were some entertaining battles during the race and we put up a good fight, but the points finish slipped away in the final part of the race. I think we chose the right strategy and made good choices, but the race didn’t go our way. It’s also clear that we need to keep doing our homework to come back stronger for the next few races.
Nico Hulkenberg who was penalized with a three place grid penalty due to an unsafe release from the pit-lane during qualifying and started the race from 13th place and went on to finish the event in 15th place and speaking following the race, the German commented by saying:
It was a frustrating race in the end, even though the start and the first few laps were great. As the lights went out, I rocketed from P13 up to fifth place, picking up one place after the other. The safety car threw all this good work out the window because I had to stack in the pits behind Checo and dropped right down the order. The dirty air affected us, we had some faster cars coming through and this destroyed my tyres. In fact, tyre degradation was the main story of the day and we appeared to suffer more than some others, which is why I went backwards in the second half of the race. The time penalty was an added blow, but in the end it didn’t make a huge difference to my result: the rules say you shouldn’t slow down coming in, but in the heat of racing it’s hard to gauge if that is giving you an advantage. Ultimately, we didn’t have the pace to get back into the points: it’s something we have to work on and do better in the coming races.
Sahara Force India Formula One Chief Operating Officer Otmar Szafnauer commented by saying:
It’s disappointing to come away from today’s race empty-handed, especially when you consider that we were so well placed in the early laps – up in third and fourth places. The safety car was unfortunate from our perspective as it cost us our track position and left us fighting through traffic to try and recover. We stuck to the planned three-stop race for Sergio and for a while it looked as though we might come away with points. However, he suffered with high degradation on the medium tyres toward the end and dropped out of contention with a handful of laps remaining. With Nico, we threw the dice and switched him to a four-stop strategy, but having lost so much track position from the safety car and subsequent time penalty, his race was heavily compromised. I think this weekend has shown us that we have inherent pace in the car, but we need to work hard to make sure we can deliver that pace consistently over a race distance.