The Sahara Force India Formula One Team have maintained their advantage over Williams Martini Racing in the battle for fourth place in the championship despite a disappointing race for the Silverstone based outfit.
Nico Hulkenberg who started the race from seventh place on the grid was involved in a first corner incident and was forced to retire from the race. Speaking following the event the German commented by saying:
It’s really disappointing to have another first lap retirement. I just ran out of space going into turn one because I got sandwiched between Valtteri [Bottas] on my left and Sebastian [Vettel] on the right. Sebastian turned in quite aggressively, made contact with me, and that pushed me into Valtteri. I think it could have been avoided if Sebastian had given us a bit more space, but it all happened so quickly and I had nowhere to go. It’s really frustrating when you have a quick car and your race only lasts ten seconds. We had done all the hard work on Friday and Saturday, but all that effort counted for nothing.”
Sergio Perez started the race from 11th place and came through the field to finish the race in eighth place, scoring valuable points for the team. Speaking following the race, the Mexican commented by saying:
Eighth place was a good recovery after our race was compromised on lap one. I was hit hard from the rear under braking for turn 11 by Kvyat, who made a mistake and came in with no control. All of a sudden I was effectively in last place and with a badly damaged car. It was a difficult recovery, but step by step we got back into the points and in the end we didn’t get a bad result. We got all the strategy calls right and this helped us overcome the damage to the car because we made up positions in both pit stops. To come away with four points and to move up to seventh in the drivers’ championship is a good result in these circumstances. It’s important to hold on when you get a difficult weekend, especially in races with high attrition, and score every point you can get, but the regret remains because I think we could have finished fifth today.
Despite bringing just one car home in the points, Force India have managed to maintain fourth place in the championship. The Silverstone based outfit head to the Mexican Grand Prix next weekend with an eight point lead over Williams in the race for fourth place.
Speaking following the race, Force India deputy Team Principal Robert Fernley commented by saying:
We had a pretty disastrous first lap – not for the first time this year. Nico was eliminated in turn one as he got squeezed between Bottas and Vettel. The resulting contact broke the steering arm and forced us to retire the car. Later in the lap, Sergio was hit by Kvyat going into turn 11 and he dropped to the back of the field. Despite picking up damage to the floor, he staged a remarkable recovery drive to finish eighth. To be leaving Austin with just four points is disappointing, especially considering the speed we had in the car this weekend. That said, we’ve only dropped a couple of points in the fight for fourth place in the constructors’ championship and we take encouragement from the car’s competitiveness across the weekend. It means we can go to Mexico confident of delivering a similar level of performance.