Sahara Force India enjoyed a strong afternoon in Monza as Esteban Ocon set the fifth fastest time during a delayed wet qualifying session. With grid penalties for other cars, he is expected to start from third. Sergio Perez qualified in P11 and is expected to start from ninth.
P5 Esteban Ocon VJM10-04
Esteban: “A great qualifying session. I’m really happy for everybody in the team. We knew there was an opportunity for us this afternoon and I’m so pleased we could take it. I always enjoy driving in the wet and the conditions today were really challenging. The car felt great; there was a really nice balance and I have to say a big thank you to the team for all their hard work. We will need to fight hard tomorrow because there are quick cars all around us, but I believe we can score some really big points and I’ll be aiming for the podium.”
P11 Sergio Perez VJM10-02
Sergio: “It’s been a very long afternoon and I am happy the fans got a good show in the end after waiting in the rain for so long. The conditions on track were difficult; there was a lot of standing water and the cars were aquaplaning a lot, so I think Charlie [Whiting] did the right thing by postponing the session. The conditions were changing all the time and it was very important to be on the right tyres at the right moment. In Q2, we took the decision to change from wets to inters and I only had two laps to try and make it happen. In the end, I missed out by two thousandths: it’s not ideal, but it was the best we could do today. It was not a perfect lap – I went a bit too wide at Ascari and I got very close to Ricciardo ahead of me, and that compromised me a little. These small margins were enough to miss out on the top ten. We’ll be moving up on the grid with a few penalties and I hope to make up some more positions tomorrow.”
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal
“After such a long day it’s satisfying to end the qualifying session on a high. Esteban made it through to Q3 and will start the race from third on the grid. He made the most of the wet conditions and we have a great chance to fight for a podium tomorrow. Sergio was a bit unlucky to miss the top ten shootout by a couple of thousandths, but starting from ninth gives him a good chance to demonstrate the speed of the car and bring home points too.”