The Sahara Force India Formula One Team endured an extremely tough Bahrain Grand Prix at the Sakhir circuit on Sunday.
Nico Hulkenberg started the race from eighth place on the grid and had a great on track battle with his team mate Sergio Perez however the German ended up finishing the race down the order in 15th place and speaking following the race he commented by saying:
A difficult and disappointing race where not much went to plan. I made a poor start away from the line and was on the back foot going into turn one. Then suddenly three or four cars backed up on the apex and I nudged the back of somebody, which damaged my front wing and forced me to pit on lap one. From there onwards we tried to recover and pull off a two-stop strategy to get back in the race, but it proved very difficult. I was always in traffic and involved in lots of fights so my tyre degradation was very high. I don’t think we’ve seen our true pace today because the first lap destroyed my race and we were out of synch with everybody and always playing catch up.
Sergio ‘Checo’ Perez started the race in 18th place and following the battle with his team mate, the Mexican came home in 16th place and speaking following the race, Checo stated:
Not the best of weekends for me: I knew I had to get a good start after yesterday’s qualifying result and I managed to pull off a great one, making up a lot of ground. Unfortunately, on lap two I made contact with [Carlos] Sainz, which ended up destroying my race. I was in his tow and when I went onto the marbles on the inside I just couldn’t stop the car enough. It was a real shame as the pace was there to score a good amount of points. During the rest of the race we had a lot of tyre degradation, but it’s too early to draw conclusions about what happened today: we need to go back to HQ and look at the data to make sure we come back strongly in China. We haven’t been very lucky in the first two races, even though our pace has been good, so I’m sure things will turn in our favour soon.
Force India deputy team principal Robert Fernley commented by saying:
Things just didn’t go our way tonight with both Nico and Sergio heavily compromised right from the start with car damage. Nico suffered a broken front wing making his way through turn one and had to pit for a front wing change. It was a similar situation with Sergio who lost his front wing on the second lap. When you are in that situation, nearly a lap behind the rest of the pack and with a damaged car, the race is an uphill struggle. We tried our best to recover with strategy, but with no safety car or anything else to shake up the order we always knew points would be a long shot. We will need to regroup, take the positives from the weekend, such as the pace we showed in qualifying, and bounce back in China to score the points we deserve.