Sahara Force India continued its good run of form as Nico Hulkenberg set the third fastest time in today’s qualifying session for the Austrian Grand Prix. Teammate Sergio Perez picked up damage to his car early in the session and will start from P16.
P3 Nico Hülkenberg VJM09-03
Nico: “A great qualifying session and I’m feeling very happy and satisfied with our performance. The drying track today reminded me of my pole position from Brazil 2010 and I have to say I really enjoy these tricky conditions. You don’t know where the grip is; you have to take some risks and you have to switch to dry tyres at just the right moment – which is something we did today. It was just a super effort from the whole team and it puts us in a great position for the race. There will be a lot of quick cars around us, but my car feels good and we’ve been strong here in all the sessions so I think we can bring home a lot of points.”
P16 Sergio Perez VJM09-02
Q2: No time
Sergio: “I’m feeling disappointed about what happened during qualifying. We found a good balance with the car this morning and we should have easily made it through to Q3. I was on my second run during Q1 when I felt something strange at the rear of my car. I managed to recover to the pits and we saw that it was a suspension failure, but unfortunately there was not enough time to fix the car and my session was done. It’s a big missed opportunity today, but I won’t give up because I know we can recover some ground tomorrow and still be in the fight for points.”
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal
“Qualifying a car in the top three for the second race in a row is a great result and further proof of the steps forward we have taken recently. Nico fought at the front for the whole of Q3 and the team made all the right calls, not only in terms of tyres but also in terms of timing, as he was one of the last drivers to take the chequered flag. Nico delivered a clean lap in tricky conditions and the grid penalty for Rosberg means he will start from the front row tomorrow, which gives him a great opportunity for a strong result. Sadly we lost a big chance with Sergio, who suffered a suspension failure early in the session. Starting in P16 is not ideal, but he knows he’s got a quick car and should be able to make his way through the field and into the points.”