Sahara Force India competed the first qualifying session of the year with both cars progressing to Q2.
P13 Sergio Perez VJM11-02
Sergio: “It’s disappointing not to be in Q3, but actually our performance was pretty good. We worked the tyres well and I drove a very strong lap, but I think the end result reflects where we are at this moment. We thought we had a chance to make Q3, but tomorrow is when it really matters. I think some things could play into our hands tomorrow because our race pace looks better than the pace we showed today. There’s an extra DRS zone creating more opportunities and it’s a race where we often see the safety car. There’s a long way to go so let’s see what we can do.”
P15 Esteban Ocon VJM11-01
Esteban: “It was a tough session, especially Q2 where I was really struggling with the front of the car and locking tyres. It was also difficult to find space in the traffic. We had a big job this weekend trying to understand the new upgrade and missing out on some dry running in final practice didn’t help. The race pace will be better tomorrow and I think we can aim for the points. It’s one of those races where just making the finish gives you a chance to pick up a result. Tomorrow is another day and we will keep fighting and see what we can achieve.”
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal
“In reality our performance today was not dissimilar to our qualifying result here twelve months ago and it’s not a massive surprise to miss out on the top ten today. We’ve introduced a significant upgrade package and only fitted it to the cars for the first time yesterday so we’re on a steep learning curve at the moment. It’s delivering performance, but we know there’s more potential to come from it in the races ahead. We’ve shown promising long run pace in testing and yesterday so hopefully we can demonstrate that tomorrow and get some points on the board, as we did last year.”