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2017 F1

Hectic Chinese GP Extends Our Scoring Run – Force India

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Force India F1 team scored three points in today’s Chinese grand prix with Sergio Perez racing to ninth place ahead of Esteban Ocon in tenth.

Strategy: New Inters (2 laps) – Used SuperSoft (18 laps) – Used SuperSoft (29 laps) – Used SuperSoft (6 laps)

Sergio: “It feels great to come away from an entertaining race with some more points. The start of the race was not easy because I made a very poor start and lost five or six places before turn one. As soon as I dropped the clutch, I went into wheel spin. I recovered some places during lap one, but then there was contact with Stroll in turn ten, which gave me a puncture. I don’t think he saw me on the inside because he didn’t give me any space. We definitely made the switch to dry tyres at the right moment and choosing the supersoft was the correct decision because I found a good rhythm straight away and overtook Massa and Kvyat. You can always look back on the strategy and see things you could have done better, but I think we finished where we deserved in terms of car pace. It’s another great result for the whole team and our twelfth consecutive race in the points, which is a special achievement.”

Strategy: New Inters (4 laps) – Used Soft (38 laps) – New SuperSoft (13 laps)

Esteban: “Finishing the race in the top ten is a good recovery, but I still feel I could have been a couple of places higher up. We had the correct strategy and started the race on the right tyre, but on lap two there was a misunderstanding with the team and I drove all the way down the pit lane without stopping for tyres. I was not supposed to come in and it cost me at least 15 seconds. It was a result of the confusion of those early laps, when everyone was diving into the pits. It’s a shame to lose time like this, but in the end we scored a point and that’s a positive. The car felt quite good today and finishing in tenth shows we can make a good improvement on Sundays. Next week we race in Bahrain and, unlike Melbourne and Shanghai, it’s a track I know well and where I’ve had success in the past. I got pole in GP3 in 2015 so I have good memories from there. I am looking forward to racing there and adding to those memories.”

Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal
“The first few laps were fairly hectic, but as things settled down the team managed the race extremely well to earn another double points finish. Sergio and Esteban both delivered mature drives, especially in the tricky damp conditions early on. Their varied strategies worked well, although with hindsight there were possible opportunities that would have allowed both cars to finish higher up. Both drivers enjoyed some close wheel-to-wheel racing and managed their pace when it mattered. All in all it’s another solid result and we can be happy about scoring more important points at this early stage of the year.

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