The Sahara Force India Formula One Team had a disappointing Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday with Nico Hulkenberg starting the race from ninth place on the grid and Sergio Perez starting the race from 13th place.
When it came to the race itself, Nico Hulkenberg was the one who ended the event in the top ten scoring one point for the Silverstone based outfit closing the gap to the Williams Martini Racing team to 30 points in the fight for fourth place in the championship. Speaking following the race, Hulk commented by saying:
I am not overly happy with my afternoon because it was a pretty difficult race for us. I found myself in the wrong place at turn one and lost a position, which made things a bit harder for me. The main problem in the race was after our first pit stop, when we fell behind the Toro Rosso of Kvyat and the Williams of Massa, and I just couldn’t get by. It’s so hard to overtake here and as soon as you get close to the car in front, you lose so much downforce and you destroy your tyres. That was the story of my race. I lost a place to Palmer at the second pit stop – that was my mistake actually and I hold my hand up and apologise to the team. During the pit stop I let the clutch slip and that made the car move, so the boys couldn’t fit the tyres properly and it cost us a little time. The next race in Germany should be fairly similar to this one: we have the same tyre compounds and the track has lots of medium-speed corners. We have shown today that even with a difficult race we can bring home points, but we need to do a better job in the coming races to pick up more points.
Sergio ‘Checo’ Perez was left disappointed as the Mexican just missed out on a place in the top ten ending the race in 11th place and speaking following the race he commented by saying:
A tough race today. We were planning to do a one-stop race, but the performance was not there on the medium tyres and the car was sliding around under me. So we decided to switch to the two-stop, the team called me in, but when I arrived in the pit lane the team was not expecting me. I think it was a simple miscommunication between the pit wall and the mechanics, which can happen sometimes. It’s frustrating because it cost me some time and the chance to be in the points. I’m pleased that Germany is coming up next week and the positive thing is that we have a strong car with good race pace.
The Formula One season has reached the half way mark and with ten races remaining Force India will be hoping that they continue the momentum of points scoring going heading into the second half of the campaign and speaking following the race, Deputy Team Principal Robert Fernley commented by saying:
We leave Budapest with a sense of unrealised potential. Ultimately, our race result was determined by the tricky qualifying session yesterday, which put us on the back foot in terms of track position – which is very important here. Nico lost out to Bottas at the start and was tucked up in a train of cars for much of the race – especially behind Kvyat – and could not make the most of his superior race pace. With Checo we were contemplating a one-stop race, but it soon became clear he was struggling on the medium tyres. When we switched him to the two-stop there was a miscommunication on the pit wall, which cost us extra time in the pit stop. Given the challenges we have faced over the last couple of days, it’s still encouraging to pick up a point – and it’s only the second time in the team’s history that we’ve scored points in Budapest. We know there is good speed in the car and I’m confident we can make better use of it in Germany next week.