Sahara Force India showed well in today’s qualifying session with Esteban Ocon set to start the Malaysian Grand Prix from sixth on the grid ahead of Sergio Perez in ninth.
P6 Esteban Ocon VJM10-04
Esteban: “I’m very happy with our performance today. The car has been working really well since the start of practice and it’s clear that all the hard work we have done since Singapore has paid off. I think we found further performance today and all the small changes we made to the car really helped make the difference. So it’s a great team effort and we are in good shape for tomorrow. My laps today were strong – probably some of my best of the season, but there is still room to improve. You never know what can happen in the race, but it’s a good chance to score some big points.”
P9 Sergio Perez VJM10-02
Sergio: “It wasn’t an easy qualifying session for me. I’ve been unwell this week and this is possibly the worst place to not feel 100%. I made a mistake in turn 11 during my final lap in Q3 and lost my rhythm. It was a small lock-up on what had been a very good lap until then, but it cost me enough time to be only ninth. It’s still a good result, all things considered, and it puts us in a good position for the race. It’s going to be a challenging Sunday because Malaysia is a very physical race – probably the hardest of the year. The start will be a key moment and I hope to gain a few places. It’s a race in which anything can happen and the weather is always unpredictable. Yesterday’s interruptions mean nobody really has a clear understanding of the long run pace, but I think we can come away with a strong result.”
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal
“Sixth and ninth represents an excellent qualifying performance by the team. The car is working well and the drivers were happy with the balance heading into qualifying. Esteban’s Q3 laps were clean and tidy, and he’s well placed to score good points tomorrow. Sergio hasn’t been feeling well all weekend, so all things considered ninth on the grid represents a tremendous effort. The car continues to improve with each race, which is a credit to the whole team and the hard work that goes in back at base and trackside. Tomorrow is a good opportunity for us to pick up some more important points to strengthen our fourth place in the championship.”