The Sahara Force India team continued their run of scoring in every race of 2014 at Silverstone, but both Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez fell away from their original starting position at the British Grand Prix.
Hulkenberg started fourth but lost a few places at the original start, and his one-stop strategy saw him being on the defensive for most of the race. He continued his 100% scoring run of 2014 with eighth, but was disappointed that he couldn’t achieve a better result.
“It was quite a tricky afternoon,” admitted Hulkenberg. “My start was not great; I lost a couple of places, and after that we didn’t seem to have the pace to fight for big points. I was struggling with the balance, which may have been related to the wind because it was very gusty out there.
“I had some good battles, especially in the early laps, but we were just missing the performance to really fight today. It’s good to score points, but starting fourth we were hoping for more. We now need to regroup and come back stronger for my home race in Germany.”
Team-mate Perez was turned into a half-spin at the first corner by the Toro Rosso of Jean-Eric Vergne that saw the Mexican fall towards the end of the field, and it was just a case of salvaging the best result at the end of the day. Unfortunately for Perez, he could only rise to eleventh, and was disappointed not to take some points from the weekend.
“We can’t really judge what our real pace was because the contact with Vergne at the start compromised our race,” said Perez. “We dropped down to last and from down there it was very difficult to salvage something from this race. I struggled with the prime tyre early in the race, which would have been the best time to make up the ground I had lost. The car felt a lot better on the options, after our pit-stop, but our final stint was not enough to get back into the points.
“It was a real disappointment after the good qualifying position we had yesterday and I feel that we deserved some points from this weekend. We need to focus on the next race in Germany and I believe Hockenheim will be more suited to our car.”
Team Principal and Managing Director Dr Vijay Mallya was frustrated with how the race materialised after the promising qualifying session. Starting fourth and seventh he saw his drivers fall to eighth and eleventh at the flag. He knows the team will have to regroup in Germany in two weeks time.
“After such a strong qualifying performance, we were naturally expecting more from today’s race,” said Mallya. “While circumstances played into our hands yesterday, today we were not so fortunate with Checo’s race heavily compromised by the contact with the Toro Rosso on lap one. The windy conditions also returned, which appeared to have an impact on our performance.
“On the positive side we continued our run of points finishes with Nico adding another four points to our tally. It means Nico and the team have scored in every race this season. As we near the halfway point of the season the battle in the championship is closer than ever so it’s important that we respond with a stronger showing in Germany in a couple of weeks’ time.”