Saturday, 23 May 2015

Seventh and eleventh for the Sahara Force India Formula One Team in Monaco

(Sahara Force India Formula One Team)

The Sahara Force India Formula One Team had a very strong performance in qualifying for Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix, round 6 of the 2015 Formula One world championship as Sergio ‘Checco’ Perez will start the race from 7th place while his team mate Nico Hulkenberg who qualified in 11th place is expected to start the event from eleventh place due to a five place grid penalty for Romain Grosjean in the Lotus.

The Sahara Force India Formula One Team have endured a difficult start to their 2015 campaign and are currently in 8th place on eleven points. Speaking following the day’s action Sergio ‘Checco’ Perez commented by saying:

I’m really happy and excited with seventh place today. I always say qualifying in Monaco counts for 90% of your final result, so it was important to be strong. To be quick here you need confidence in the car and in yourself, and I had both today. To make it through to Q3 was already a great effort by the team, but to be starting P7 means we have already done a lot of the hard work for the race. We went out early in Q3 because we thought the rain was coming and I had a mega lap. I was worried some of the others might improve their times, especially with the track evolution, but fortunately it was not the case. Tomorrow we have a good opportunity to score some important points. We know that anything can happen on a Sunday in Monaco, but I’m focussed on getting a clean start and a good first lap.

The Mexican set a fastest time of 1m 16.808s. Nico Hulkenberg will start the race from eleventh place on the grid with a time of 1m 17.193s. Speaking following the session the German stated:

My final lap was a very good one and I believe I could have been firmly in the top ten, but unfortunately I made a small mistake in the final corner, which cost me enough time to miss out on Q3. Obviously it is disappointing, especially knowing how important your starting position is here. I am likely to be 11th on the grid, which means we will need to choose the right strategy to try and make up some positions. If we make the right calls tomorrow, we should be able to get some points. The brush with the wall in Q1 didn't do any damage but it cost a lot in terms of rhythm: you spend a long time trying to get the right confidence around Monaco and an incident like this sets you back a little. Qualifying in Monaco is always a challenge, but one I really enjoyed. The car feels much better than it did in Barcelona and we seem to have more performance in our hands which is encouraging. Nevertheless, I expect a tough race where good tyre management will be especially important.’

Sahara Force India Formula One Team Principal and Managing Director, Dr Vijay Mallya commented saying:

Today's strong performance in qualifying is an important boost for the team. Sergio’s laps were competitive right from the off and he had the confidence to extract every fraction of a second from the car. It’s an important result because track position is essential around here. Nico also looked on course for a top ten qualifying position, but fell just short of the mark: it is proof of how competitive the midfield is at the moment that one small mistake can cost so many positions on the grid. Nonetheless, both drivers seemed happy with the car and this gives us confidence for tomorrow. Overtaking is hard on this track, but as this team has shown in previous years it can be done. With an aggressive strategy we should be able to target points for both cars.

© Ben Johnston 2015

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