Force India drivers stymied by colder conditions in Canada
Force India drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez believe the cold conditions in last weekend's Canadian Grand Prix prevented them from scoring a better result.
Hulkenberg finished the Montreal race eighth, while Sergio Perez finished came 10th registering the team's second consecutive double point finish after Monaco.
Both drivers believed the VJM09 had the potential to fight for a finish inside the top six, but the cooler conditions in the race affected their car's performance, with air temperature hovering around 10-12°C.
“I think we were hoping for a bit better, we were hoping to be a bit closer to the Williams,” said Hulkenberg after the race.
“The car was a bit weaker [in the race] then the rest of the weekend, [maybe] the conditions changed, the winds picked up, we have to understand what happened but the car generally wasn’t good, the grip was very low,” he added.
The German lost a place to Fernando Alonso at the start, but recovered to ensure eighth place after Williams driver Felipe Massa retired.
“I had [a] really bad start, the clutch I think was completely out of where I was supposed to be," admitted Hulkenberg.
“So I had to get some positions in the first lap, and from then on it was really a tyre management race and I think we did everything right with the strategy,” he added.
Hulkenberg had gone with the traditional strategy of two-stops, running the sequence US/S/S – starting on the softest compound like most others.
Conditions forced strategy switch
Meanwhile, teammate Perez tried a one-stop strategy, which didn’t work for the Mexican as he was forced to switch to S/SS/S sequence after suffering heavy graining on the front tyres.
“We tried a strategy which didn’t work, we couldn’t manage to make the soft tyre work, it was too cold for it,” he explained.
“Starting on soft, we lost a position, Jenson [Button] went through. There was lot of graining on the front that I couldn’t extend my stint, so that hurt me massively and it hurt the strategy.”
After running 30 laps on the soft compound, Perez switched to a used supersofts, running for another 16 laps before stopping for the final time for used softs to take him to the chequered flag.
“We were discussing whether to go to the end or not [after the first stop] because I was not feeling that I could have managed to go till the end on supersoft tyres,” said Perez.
“We eventually decided come in and during the stop there was something wrong with the clutch, I stalled so I lost a couple of seconds.
“I lost a position to [Daniil] Kvyat, but I recovered with a very difficult move into Turn 1. It was just a difficult weekend, but it was ok to come away with a point.”
Additional reporting by Adam Cooper
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