Sergio Perez was happy to see his Sahara Force India team bounce back from a difficult Friday at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza to qualify eighth on Saturday.
The Mexican felt happier behind the wheel of his VJM09 during qualifying, and praised his mechanics for the hard work in improving the set-up of the car that enabled both Perez and team-mate Nico Hülkenberg to advance to Q3 and qualify inside the top ten.
“I think we can be satisfied about today’s result,” said Perez. “We have been struggling all weekend, but we worked really hard last night to improve the car balance and made a step forward for qualifying.
“Some of our rivals seem to have very strong pace, but I think we maximised our qualifying effort with both cars in the top ten. In Q1, it was crucial to put together the perfect lap on my first run; that gave me a bit more freedom in Q2, with an extra set of new tyres available. All in all, it was an exciting session and I had a very intense battle with Nico.”
Perez believes their race will be dictated early on with what the team can do on the Supersoft Pirelli tyre, and hopes to be able to take the fight to those in front.
“The strategy options for the race are quite limited and will depend on what happens during our first stint on the Supersoft tyres, and how things go on lap one,” said Perez.
“Our long run pace looked better than our one lap speed, so hopefully we can match the cars ahead of us and get a good result.”