Sahara Force India saw both its cars progress to Q2 during today’s qualifying session with Esteban Ocon ending the day in P12 and Sergio Perez in P14.
P12 Esteban Ocon VJM10-04
Esteban: “We were hoping to be higher up today, but it’s not our strongest track and we were just missing the pace to make the top ten. I still have a good feeling in the car and our race pace will be more competitive. It looks as though I will gain a place because of the grid penalty for Nico [Hulkenberg] and I still believe a strong points finish is achievable tomorrow.”
P14 Sergio Perez VJM10-02
Sergio: “It was my most difficult qualifying session of the year. I haven’t yet managed to feel comfortable with the front end of the car: we made a lot of changes from yesterday, even between third practice and qualifying, but we couldn’t solve the issues. In Q2, my first lap was pretty poor and that threw my reference points for the second attempt. In the end, I couldn’t put together a good enough lap and we didn’t’ maximise our potential. We are starting 14th and it’s not ideal on a track where overtaking is really tough, but I hope tomorrow we can be strong. The strategy options are quite limited, but if we can make a good start, we can fight for points.”
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal
“We’ve been on the fringes of the top ten, but ultimately Q3 was just out of reach today. It’s not a track that plays to our strengths so we’ve just got to make the most of the race tomorrow and take the opportunities that arise. The speed of the car has looked more competitive during the long runs so we remain optimistic that we can be in the fight for some points. It’s a difficult track for overtaking and strategy options are fairly limited so a strong opening lap is going to be especially important tomorrow.”