The Sahara Force India team secured their first points since the season opening Australian Grand Prix in Bahrain, with Sergio Perez finishing eighth at Sakhir, although team-mate Nico Hulkenberg could not convert his top ten start into a top ten points finish.
Perez made a two-stop strategy work to take his best finish of the season in eighth, and felt it was one of his best races when it came to managing tyres and pace in his career so far.
“Eighth place feels very good and I’m very satisfied,” reflected Perez. “It was a great opportunity to score points today and this is a nice reward for the whole team.
“Before the race we were not sure a two-stop strategy was possible for us – we thought the tyre degradation would be too high, but the team did an amazing job to make it happen. My engineers were giving me good information over the radio and after the first stint we knew that stopping twice was our best chance of scoring points.
“I think this was one of my best races in terms of managing the pace and the tyres. There are a lot of positives to take from this weekend and once again we showed that this team has a lot of heart and that we never give up.”
Team-mate Hulkenberg was disappointed with his race in Bahrain, after starting inside the top ten and finishing thirteenth. The German was struggling to maximise the tyre life on his Force India, and hopes the team can find out the cause of this problem so it does not happen again in future races.
“It was a disappointing result for me tonight: we didn’t seem to be able to find the same level of grip we had in qualifying and that made it really hard in the car,” said Hulkenberg.
“We were in a few battles, but we just couldn’t get the right edge, which is a shame. We seemed to be struggling to preserve the tyres compared to the cars around us and this cost us positions.
“We will need to investigate what caused us to suffer so much in the race, and hopefully it will at least give us an answer to avoid a similar situation in future races.”