The Sahara Force India Formula One Team have boosted their chances of extending their lead over Williams in the race for fourth place in the championship following a strong qualifying performance for Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix.
Nico Hulkenberg will start the race from eighth place having set a time of 01:12.104s and speaking following the session, the German commented by saying:
I’m happy with eighth place and I think it was pretty much the limit today. It was close with Checo just behind me and it means we’re starting the race in a strong position. My laps were pretty clean and tidy, although I didn’t get a great exit out of the final corner at the end of Q3 – it’s been a difficult corner for us all weekend. I think we have a good car for tomorrow, so we need to get the job done and score solid points. The long runs we did yesterday looked promising, but we have to wait and see what happens with the weather. At the moment it looks like conditions will be similar to today – overcast with some light drizzle. If we get some heavier rain, it would certainly spice things up because it can be quite difficult to overtake here in the dry.
Sergio ‘Checo’ Perez will start the race just behind his team mate in ninth place having set a time of 01:12.165s and speaking following the session, the Mexican commented by saying:
We made a big step forward from practice to qualifying and it was enough to get us through to Q3. The session was a real fight, especially in Q1, and the margins between progression and elimination were tiny. This is a very short track and you need to really hook together the perfect lap, because any mistake can make a big difference. It was very tight with Nico; we were within a few tenths of each other all afternoon, but in the end I fell just short. I made a small mistake in the final corner and it cost me some time, so I could have been a bit quicker. Overall I think we can be happy with the job we did today. We have kept some quick cars behind us and I believe we can be strong in the race. We now need to see what the weather brings tomorrow.
The Silverstone based outfit head into Sunday’s race, ninth points ahead of Williams with just two races remaining.
Speaking following qualifying, Force India deputy team principal Robert Fernley commented by saying:
Getting both cars into the top ten was the target today so we’re very pleased with the outcome. The team worked hard on Friday night to make the necessary changes to extract performance from the car. The progress we made overnight and this morning made the difference and helped us squeeze through to Q3. It sets us up nicely for a strong race tomorrow. Our race pace looks solid and we’re pretty relaxed about the changeable weather. Come rain or shine, we have a car capable of converting our qualifying effort into important points.