Fourth place a “wonderful reward” for Force India – Robert Fernley

by James Eagles

Deputy Team Principal of the Sahara Force India F1 Team Robert Fernley has said that a second consecutive fourth place finish in the Constructors’ Championship is a wonderful reward for the team’s work.

Not only did the Silverstone based team match the previous year’s  achievement, but also surpassed their 2016 points tally with a further two races to go in the 2017 Formula 1 season.

“It’s fantastic to confirm fourth place in the championship with a competitive race in front of so much support from the Mexican fans.” said Fernley.

Esteban Ocon continued his fine run of form with fifth place, having run in the podium positions for a large portion of Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix. Fernley admitted that the Virtual Safety Car for Brendon Hartley‘s stricken Scuderia Toro Rosso put paid to Ocon’s podium chances, allowing Kimi Räikkönen to leapfrog the young Frenchman.

“For a while the podium looked to be within reach for Esteban until the Virtual Safety Car handed the advantage to Räikkönen and also brought [Lance] Stroll into play.”

“Esteban had to work hard for the final 20 laps fending off the Williams and did a fantastic job despite being on older tyres.”

In front of his adoring home fans, Sergio Pérez also scored points in seventh position. It marked the fifteenth time that both Force India cars have finished inside the points this season – a remarkable achievement for one of the sport’s more modestly financed teams.

Fernley said that the Mexican could have caught Williams Martini Racing‘s Lance Stroll for sixth place after a late decision to fit the ultra-soft Pirelli tyres, but ran out of laps to get the move done.

“Sergio made a late pit stop for some new ultra-soft tyres and was catching Stroll quickly, but we just ran out of laps.”

“This result is another demonstration of the progress we have made this season and fourth place in the championship for the second year in a row is a wonderful reward for the entire team.”

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