Force India: Both drivers struggled to optimise the car

Tomorrow’s Spanish Grand Prix will see Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez start from the sixth row of the grid following today’s qualifying session. Nico ended the session in eleventh place just ahead of Sergio in twelfth.

P11. Nico Hulkenberg VJM07-04

  • Q1: 1:28.155
  • Q2: 1:27.685

Nico: “My lap was very good and I am pleased with the effort we put in during qualifying. We made some steps forward with handling and set-up compared to FP3 this morning, but we still ended up a little bit short of Q3. Considering that we haven’t been totally comfortable with the car for most of the weekend, P11 is a very good place to start the race and gives us an extra set of medium tyres compared to the rest of the top ten. I expect a very strategic race tomorrow, especially as most of the teams around us seem to be on a similar level when it comes to race pace. It’s going to be a challenge for everyone and tyre management will be a key point, but points are within our reach.”

P12. Sergio Perez VJM07-02

  • Q1: 1:28.469
  • Q2: 1:28.002

Sergio: “I think we finished qualifying more or less where we expected. Maybe a place in Q3 was possible, but I did not manage to complete my final run in Q2 because my preparation lap was not ideal. There was too much traffic and my tyres were not optimised, which is why I chose to abort my final quick lap and save the tyres. Coming here we knew this track would be quite a difficult one for us, but we still believe we can be competitive tomorrow. I think the race will be all about getting the strategy choice right because it’s so difficult to overtake on this track. Our race pace is looking promising so we have a chance to get back some positions tomorrow.”

Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director: “Starting the Spanish Grand Prix in P11 and P12 is a good effort on a track that has always been one of the most challenging for us. Both drivers have been chasing the car balance during practice and struggling to optimise the car. A place in Q3 was not too far away and starting from the sixth row of the grid means we can race for points. We expect to have a similar level of race pace to a lot of the cars around us and making the right strategy calls tomorrow will be critical to making progress in the race.”