Sahara Force India picked up six points in today’s Japanese Grand Prix as Nico Hulkenberg finished in seventh place with teammate Paul Di Resta coming home in twelfth.
By the end of lap one I was already in eighth and as it turned out we had good pace.
The car felt strong throughout the race: there was a nice balance and I was able to chase Lewis and Kimi hard and put pressure on them.
They edged away towards the end and for the closing laps I just had to make sure I kept ahead of Maldonado. So another seventh place – a well-deserved result for the team after a tough weekend for the mechanics and six important points for the championship.”
Paul Di Resta: “Quite a testing race for me. Things started to go wrong on the parade lap when I had a clutch issue, so it was not a big surprise when I made a poor getaway off the line.
Going into turn one I was almost at the back of the field so I was able to stay out of trouble and avoid the accidents ahead of me. But when you lose so much ground at the start it’s difficult to recover.
I was always in traffic and without running in clean air I couldn’t really show the potential of the car. We were not too far away with the set-up, but I never really found the sweet spot during the race. Hopefully I can go to Korea and get back in the points.”
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal: “An excellent drive by Nico and very encouraging to see such strong race pace on a track that has never really played to our strengths.
We made the right calls on the strategy and for much of the race Nico was up there pushing hard to get ahead of Lewis.
Paul’s race was seriously compromised by a poor getaway, which we will investigate, and that meant we missed out on getting both cars in the points.
In terms of the championship we’ve edged further ahead of Williams and Sauber remain just about in sight. I’d also like to pay special credit to both sides of the garage for their incredible effort this weekend.
We kept them very busy and they did an amazing job under difficult conditions. Overall it’s been a remarkable team effort.”
Source: Sahara Force India Formula One Team