Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado followed each other across the line in seventh and eighth at the Japanese Grand Prix, the team’s first double top eight finish since India 2013.
The pair took advantage of a busy start to run as high as fifth and sixth respectively early on.
“Starting 11th, we did well to make up the places early on,” said Pastor. “
The target of beating Force India to fifth in the constructor’s championship was aided by Sergio Perez’s misfortune, but Nico Hulkenberg battled with the Enstone duo.
While there wasn’t much of a battle on track, the pitstops saw the best opportunity to progress as both Romain and Pastor ran the common choice of a three stop strategy.
Unable to undercut Hulkenberg, Romain and Pastor were able to climb to seventh and eighth after the final stop.
“When it came to my own race we were a little bit slow against the Force India,” said Romain. “We tried to fight Nico Hulkenberg but couldn’t. I really struggled with the tyres at the end – it seems the new Pirelli limits hurt us more than our rivals so we’ll work around that for the next race.”
For the opening part of the race, Pastor was able to keep the Force India driver behind him before the pitstops.
“It’s a shame we weren’t able to keep Hulkenberg behind us so we’ll review the strategy and performance to see if there was more we could have done,” he said.
The pair crossed the line in the same position to secure the team’s first double points score of the season.
“It’s a good result and we deserve it,” said Pastor, “It was important to get both cars in the point and give the team a result as they’ve worked so hard this weekend.”
“The team has been united all weekend, we scored some nice points and we’re looking forward to the rest of the season.”
Team-mate Romain added: “We finished with both cars in the points so I’m definitely happy with that,” said Romain. “We’ve had a good result as a team.”
Deputy Team Principal Federico Gastaldi was delighted with a great result in tough circumstances.
"It’s a great result for all of the team after a reasonably challenging weekend,” he said. “It just goes to show that you can never discount an Enstone team no matter what the circumstances.”
“We have to say thank you to all the crew at the track for working through a slightly unusual situation as well as thank you to Bernie for his help behind the scenes. We’re looking forward to continuing to fight back in Sochi.”