Force India’s Robert Fernley: “The team did a fantastic job overnight”

Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Robert Fernley feels the Sahara Force India F1 Team are in line for a good haul of points after a strong Qualifying session at the Circuit of the Americas.

Esteban Ocon was seventh fastest despite being under the weather and Sergio Perez tenth during Saturday’s session, with both drivers set to move up one position once Max Verstappen takes his grid penalty.

Fernley, the Deputy Team Principal of the Silverstone-based team, felt it was a bigger challenge to get a good set-up on the VJM10 this weekend than in either of the two previous races in Malaysia and Japan, but both drivers are now in position to secure points thanks to the hard work of the mechanics.

“Another strong performance with both cars making it through to Q3 this afternoon,” said Fernley. “After the grid penalty for Verstappen, we expect to line up in sixth and ninth places tomorrow, which gives us a great opportunity to score good points.

“We had to work hard yesterday and this morning to dial the car into this circuit – much more so than in Malaysia and Japan – but the team did a fantastic job overnight and took the right decisions ahead of qualifying.

“Sergio was a bit unlucky during the session and didn’t maximise the car’s potential, but the race pace is very encouraging for tomorrow. Esteban was a little under the weather during the session so to qualify in seventh place is a tremendous effort.”