The Sahara Force India Formula One Team’s Sergio ‘Checo’ Perez saved his best qualifying performance of the year for the final race of the 2015 Formula One season as the Mexican will start tomorrow’s season ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Bay from fourth place on the grid on the second row alongside Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.
Speaking following the session, Perez commented by saying:
Fourth place on the grid is a great result for us and I’m very pleased with our strong performance all the way through qualifying. We’ve made some good decisions this weekend with the changes we have made to the car and it’s taken us in a very positive direction. I think the analysis we carried out after the weekend in Sao Paulo has really paid off and we’ve learned a huge amount. All of my laps this evening were very clean and tidy, and we managed to get the maximum from the car. The challenge tomorrow will be keeping some very quick cars behind me, but I also think we have a good chance to make up some positions at the start. I have the confidence in the car to really push and there is definitely the potential to come away with a great result this weekend. In many ways it’s a shame that tomorrow is the final race of the season because the car is working very well at the moment and I’m enjoying the racing so much.
Nico Hulkenberg will start the race from seventh place giving the Silverstone based outfit both cars in the top ten. The German set a fastest time of 1m 41.686s and speaking following the session the Hulk commented by saying:
It was a good qualifying session for the team, although I feel I could have been higher up the grid. I was pretty happy with my laps, especially the one in Q3, so to find myself in seventh actually feels a little bit disappointing. We need to look at the data and figure out where we lost time and what we can do to recover it. Looking ahead to the race, we’ve been working hard to improve our race pace and hopefully the changes we have made will pay off tomorrow. The car is quick on the straights and the balance has felt good from the start of the weekend. Starting from the fourth row, we have every opportunity to score a good result tomorrow.
Sahara Force India Formula One Team COO Otmar Szafnauer commented by saying:
We’ve looked competitive in every session leading up to qualifying, so I think tonight’s strong showing is a fair reflection of our performance level at this circuit. Both Checo and Nico did a great job this evening with clean laps in all the sessions to secure fourth and seventh on the grid. It gives us a good opportunity to end the season with an equally strong race result, especially as we can race relatively free from pressure having already secured fifth place in the championship. The big question tomorrow is how our race pace will compare to our competitors because we saw on Friday that there are very small margins between all the teams. Whatever happens we will fight hard to sign off 2015 with a good helping of points.