Force India pleased with their drivers Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon making it through to the final round of qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi and it is first time in this season they reached Q3.
Sergio Perez (9th): “It was not an ideal qualifying session for me, but in the end we got a good result and we can be pleased to be in Q3. I didn’t get the perfect lap; I feel I have left something on the table and when the margins are so close a tenth of a second would have put us a couple of places further ahead. It was not easy to get the tyres in the right operating window and to keep them working for the whole lap. Also, the track conditions changed a lot from yesterday and I think this affected everyone.
The key for tomorrow’s race will be having a good start and a clean run into turn two: it’s a tricky one and in the past there has been plenty of action there at the start. I am optimistic for the race and I think we can aim to make up some positions from where we start.”
Esteban Ocon (10th): “It’s the first Q3 appearance of my career and I’m pretty happy with our performance today. The team has done an awesome job to improve the car during each session and I felt very comfortable by the time we started qualifying.
I made a few small mistakes on my Q3 lap so I’m a little bit frustrated because there was the opportunity to be even higher up the grid. If I can make a clean start in the race, there is all to play for tomorrow. It’s important that I make the most of my best qualifying position in Formula One to score some more points.”
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal: “The top ten was our target today and it’s encouraging to see both Force Indias make Q3 for the first time this year. The team has done an excellent job over the last few days to extract more and more performance from the car and today’s results show the progress we have made.
The Q3 laps of both drivers were clean and tidy, but they both felt there was a bit more speed in the car and that they had the potential to be even higher up the grid. Even so, locking out the fifth row of the grid represents our best qualifying performance of the year and gives us every chance to score solid points tomorrow.”