Sahara Force India scored ten points in today’s Austrian Grand Prix as the team moved up to fifth place in the Constructors’ championship.
P6 Nico Hulkenberg VJM08-01
Strategy: Used SuperSofts (25 laps) - New Softs (46 laps)
Nico: “I’m very satisfied with sixth place today. Going into the race we always knew it would be difficult to keep the Williams of Bottas behind me, so bringing the car home in sixth was probably the maximum we could achieve. I had some good wheel-to-wheel battles with him and we swapped places a few times, but it was hard to match their absolute pace. Overall it’s been a great weekend: I found a nice rhythm and I have been very happy with the performance of the car. With Checo in the points as well, it’s been an excellent weekend for us and we can be proud of what we’ve achieved. It’s an important boost ahead of Silverstone where we hope to make another step forward.”
P9 Sergio Perez VJM08-02
Strategy: New Softs (38 laps) - New SuperSofts (32 laps)
Sergio: “It is a great result for the team to come away with so many points. We’ve moved up to fifth in the championship and that's an incredible effort by everyone in the team. I had a great start and first lap: the target was to get ahead of Maldonado as he was the first driver on the prime tyre and we managed to do that. In the first stint I had a lot of pressure from both the Lotus drivers, but we held strong and the race was looking really good. Unfortunately, we lost some time in a slow pit stop and it was a bit difficult to recover after that, especially as that placed us behind Ericsson and Nasr. The second stint was not very easy because I had some very strong vibrations on the front tyres and that cost me some pace. All in all, considering our position on the grid, it was a good race. I think we could have been a couple of places ahead if everything had gone to plan, but it's still a good result.”
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal
“To come away from Austria with ten more points and fifth place in the championship is a tremendous result. We’ve shown good pace all weekend and it’s very satisfying to convert that speed into valuable points. Nico drove a very clean and tidy race, and realistically it would have been difficult to have finished higher up the order. The same is true for Sergio who was on the opposite strategy to Nico, but made the progress he needed in the early laps on the soft tyres. Despite a slightly lengthy pit stop he was able to recover to ninth place and pick up a couple of points. It means that we remain very well placed ahead of our local race at Silverstone where we plan to introduce the next step for the VJM08.”
Sahara Force India line-up for Austria test
Sahara Force India is pleased to announce that Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Ocon will drive for the team at the upcoming test session next week. Both drivers already have experience in the VJM08 having tested for the team earlier in the season.
Sahara Force India’s testing programme will focus on introducing the latest developments to the VJM08 ahead of the British Grand Prix. The test also provides the opportunity for Pascal and Esteban to continue gaining valuable mileage at the wheel of a Formula One car.
Pascal will be driving on Tuesday before handing over duties to Esteban on Wednesday.