Sergio Perez: "Fifth place and ten points is a good result, but we just lacked the pace to really fight for the podium today."
Sergio Perez raced to fifth place in the Belgian Grand Prix. Teammate Nico Hulkenberg was unable to take the start following a loss of power on the parade lap to the grid.
Sergio Perez (P5): “Fifth place and ten points is a good result, but we just lacked the pace to really fight for the podium today. My start was very strong and I was close to taking the lead on lap one when I was alongside Lewis [Hamilton] after Eau Rouge. I settled into a good rhythm, but we had very high degradation on the soft tyres in the first two stints. It was a bit better on the medium, although we struggled in the middle sector with our low downforce set-up and that hurt my pace. We were racing some quick cars and it was hard to fight off Grosjean and Kvyat, so it’s clear we need to analyse our performance and see where we can improve. I’m already looking forward to the next race in Monza, which is another track where I think we can be competitive.”
Nico Hulkenberg (DNF): “It’s disappointing to finish your race before it’s even started, but sometimes these things happen in racing. On the way to the grid I just felt a loss of power. We tried to understand and fix the problem on the grid, but it came back during the formation lap. There were a few moments when the power returned, but it disappeared again just before the start and I had to retire. It’s a real shame because the car has been very quick this weekend and we had a good opportunity to score some important points.”
Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director: “We leave Belgium with mixed feelings after what turned out to be a very eventful race. Sergio delivered a battling performance and extracted all he could from the VJM08. He was able to challenge for the podium positions at the start of the race and to finish with a fifth place, his best result of the year so far, confirmed the good pace he has shown all weekend. He didn't put a wheel wrong all day and was able to keep some very competitive rivals behind with an intelligent and defensive drive.
There are many regrets about what could have been had Nico had a clean weekend. Unfortunately, he suffered a loss of power on the way to grid and we were unable to rectify the problem before the start. It’s something we will thoroughly investigate with Mercedes. It's a shame as he would have surely had a competitive race. The battle for fifth in the championship remains open and we're already looking forward to the next round at Monza to reclaim the position.”
Sahara Force India