Formula 1

Force India’s Robert Fernley: “Q3 was just out of reach today”

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Neither Force India driver made it through to Q3 in Hungary - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Robert Fernley admitted the Hungaroring does not play into the Sahara Force India F1 Team’s strengths after the Deputy Team Principal watched both Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez be eliminated from qualifying at the second hurdle.

Ocon qualified twelfth and Perez fourteenth on Saturday, although each move up a position thanks to grid penalties for other drivers, but Fernley admits the track is not one of the team’s best.

Despite this, Fernley hopes the race pace, which appeared stronger than the one-lap qualifying pace during practice, can bring both drivers into contention for points on Sunday.

“We’ve been on the fringes of the top ten, but ultimately Q3 was just out of reach today,” said Fernley. “It’s not a track that plays to our strengths so we’ve just got to make the most of the race tomorrow and take the opportunities that arise.

“The speed of the car has looked more competitive during the long runs so we remain optimistic that we can be in the fight for some points.

“It’s a difficult track for overtaking and strategy options are fairly limited so a strong opening lap is going to be especially important tomorrow.”

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