Sahara Force India continued their strong points-scoring form in China as Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez picked up 54 points leaving the team third in the constructors’ standings.
Hulkenberg managed to drive a straightforward race to cross the line in 6th place, which never really looked under threat until the closing laps when he came under pressure from the Williams of Valterri Bottas.
The young German is loving racing at the sharp end of the grid but isn’t getting carried away as he remains focused on getting the maximum points for the team. “Finishing in sixth and bringing both cars home in the points again was a very positive result for the team,” said Hulkenberg.
“It was a straightforward race for me after we got in front of Massa: I had to manage my tyres, my pace and avoid mistakes, it only got tricky at the end when Bottas was getting a bit closer.”
Perez couldn’t repeat his Bahrain podium performance in China but had an equally impressive recovery drive from 16th on the grid to finish in 9th. Perez had struggled in qualifying but was able to get the most from the car on the two-stop strategy.
“To start from p16 and finish in ninth place is a good recovery after a difficult qualifying session yesterday. I made a good start and after that I just focused on making the two-stop strategy work.”
“It was not easy to to overtake today – I think ninth place was the maximum. It means I’ve scored points in three out of four races, but I was hoping for more today after the weekend we had in Bahrain.”
Deputy Team Principal Robert Fernley says he is very pleased with how his drivers are performing, and was actually surprised to come away from the weekend with ten points. “Coming away from China with another ten points in our pocket and third place in the team’s standings is a very good effort,” said Fernley.
“We never expected Shanghai to be our strongest track so I think we can feel pretty satisfied with our performance over the entire weekend. To have 54 points after four races is an excellent effort and we can be pleased with the consistency we have shown over a variety of different circuits.”