Robert Fernley: Double points finish a “nice end to the season”

Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Sahara Force India F1 Team ended a brilliant 2017 campaign with both Sergio Pérez and Esteban Ocon scoring points at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, a fitting way to end the team’s most successful season.

In their last year as Force India, before their so far unknown name change takes place, the team eclipsed their previous best points tally of 173, set in 2016, with two races to spare – a huge achievement for the modestly budgeted team.

Deputy Team Prinicpal Robert Fernley hailed the season and revelled in the fact that Pérez and Ocon ended the season how they started in eight months ago in Australia.

“We’ve ended the year as we started it with both cars firmly inside the points.” beamed Fernley.

“Seventh and eighth places bring our points tally to 187 to sign-off our most successful season ever.”

Fernley praised all of the 400 members of the Force India programme before reflecting on a “fairly straightforward” race – the only point of contention being former Force India driver Nico Hülkenberg’s pass on Pérez off the track and the subsequently lenient penalty.

Not drawn into a comment about the battling former team-mates, Fernley said that it was pleasing to end the season on a positive before the 2018 challenger is finalised and revealed over the coming months.

“As we’ve said before, the credit needs to go to each and every one of the 400 team members who have contributed to this achievement, as well as the support of our commercial partners.”

“Today’s race was fairly straightforward and there wasn’t much to choose between the different strategies run by each car.”

“It’s nice to end the season on a positive note ahead of a busy winter finalising the new car for 2018.”