Formula 1

Force India’s Robert Fernley: “It was a fantastic weekend”

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Nico Hulkenberg - Credit: Sahara Force India

Sahara Force India deputy team principal Robert Fernley insists the team can be proud of finishing fourth and fifth at the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday, even though the red flag possibly lost Nico Hülkenberg a podium place.

Hülkenberg was running second before Kevin Magnussen’s crash at Raidillon brought out the safety car and then the red flags, but despite losing places to both Daniel Ricciardo and Lewis Hamilton as a result of the field being bunched up once more, Fernley was happy with the outcome of the race, especially as Sergio Perez followed his team-mate home in fifth.

“We can rightly be proud of a great team result – the first time we’ve put both cars in the top five since Bahrain 2014,” said Fernley. “It was a fantastic weekend, one that highlights once more the special relationship we have with Spa-Francorchamps.

“Everyone in the team did a great job and we can now celebrate a very strong race. We can even be a bit disappointed, too, because without the Safety Car and red flag, Nico could well have been on the podium, but considering how the race turned out, we feel pretty content with the result.”

Fernley knows the team still have work to do as they continue their battle with Williams Martini Racing for fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship, with the results in Belgium moving them ahead of their rivals for the first time this season.

“We are now fourth in the championship, having scored 89 points since Monaco, but we won’t let our guard down,” insisted Fernley. “There is still a long way to go and the battle in the midfield is just going to get closer.

“We will continue to work hard and hopefully bring home more special results between now and the end of the season.”

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