Force India “played get out of jail card” in Austin, says Fernley

Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley says the team “played its get of jail” card in Austin after losing only two points in its battle with Williams for fourth place in the World Championhip.

Force India “played get out of jail card” in Austin, says Fernley
Valtteri Bottas, Williams FW38; Felipe Massa, Williams FW38 and Nico Hulkenberg, Force India VJM09
Nico Hulkenberg, Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 on the formation lap
Nico Hulkenberg, Sahara Force India F1 VJM09, Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H
Nico Hulkenberg, Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 at the start of the race
Sergio Perez, Force India F1 VJM09 pit stop
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM09

The race started disastrously for the team when Nico Hulkenberg retired on the first lap after contact with Valtteri Bottas, while Sergio Perez dropped down the field after being hit by Dany Kvyat.

With Felipe Massa well inside the top 10 and at one point potentially heading for fifth, it appeared that Williams would make a significant gain, but in the end the clash with Fernando Alonso left the Brazilian seventh, while Perez recovered to eighth. The gap between the teams is now eight points.

“I think we played our get out of jail card to the full!,” Fernley told Motorsport.com.

“We lost a couple of points to them, but overall we’re still there. If you look at the last four races, in two of them we’ve lost Nico on lap one - Singapore and here - and yet we are still managing to hold on.

“It was a good recovery from Checo – on lap two it was looking drastic, because obviously he’d been hit up the back by Kvyat, and his car was not healthy by any means.

Between the pitwall and him they managed to do a good job to get him to eighth, especially managing to get past [Jenson] Button, because that was the hard one. Fortunately for us Fernando Alonso had a super drive, and managed to push Felipe back.”

The upcoming race - Mexico - is the biggest event of the season for the team, even if Fernley does expect the circuit to provide a slight advantage to Williams.

“Commercially it’s massive, we have a huge amount of guests, over 300 in the Paddock Club alone. Huge pressure on Checo, and fortunately we’ve got Nico there to support him.

"I think Mexico suits Williams slightly more than it does us, but you shouldn’t ignore the Mexican effect for Checo.”

Don’t miss our Mexican GP video preview…

 

 

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