Sahara Force India ended today’s qualifying session for the Bahrain Grand Prix with Esteban Ocon in P14 and Sergio Perez in P18.
P14 Esteban Ocon VJM10-01
Esteban: “It was a pretty normal session, apart from the DRS problem in Q1, but I’m not happy with P14 because we want to be higher up the grid. We did everything right, but we didn’t have the performance to make Q3 today. We’ve seen that the working range of the tyres is very small and it’s not easy to understand them and get the performance you need. I think that was our main issue today – we just didn’t find the window. Managing tyre degradation tomorrow will also be very important. I believe points are possible and there will be opportunities in the race. It’s a circuit where you can overtake so I need to make a good start and keep pushing.”
P18 Sergio Perez VJM10-02
Sergio: “I was really unlucky today with the waved yellow flags. I had to abort my final lap in Q1 and that was the end of my qualifying. It’s a shame because I had the speed to be much higher up, but sometimes things just don’t work out. I still feel positive for the race because we made some good progress between final practice and qualifying. I felt much happier in the car, but we could not show it with the final result. Tomorrow we will do all we can to move forward. It’s going to be a tough race, but with good strategy I think we can be more competitive.”
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal
“It has been quite a tough weekend leading into qualifying, but it’s still disappointing not to get at least one car through to Q3. Sergio’s chances ended with the waved yellow flags, which caught him out and meant he could not finish his lap. Without this bad luck, he would have easily moved into Q2. Esteban had a fairly routine session and continued to build up his speed, but we struggled to find the sweet spot with the tyres and that hurt our performance in qualifying. Despite being on the back foot, we will approach tomorrow’s race determined to get both cars up the order to continue our run of points finishes.”