Hulkenberg, Perez collect seven points for Force India
Despite starting from the back of the grid, Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez collected seven points for Sahara Force India from the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, here on Sunday.
Melbourne: Despite starting from the back of the grid, Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez collected seven points for Sahara Force India from the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, here on Sunday.
Starting from 14th on the grid, Hulkenberg finished an impressive seventh while Perez, who started 15th, collected the last available point by finishing 10th.
Force India had missed the first two pre-season tests but the team did a good job to bring the cars among points in the opening race of the 2015 Formula One season.
Hulkenberg said he was pleased with the result.
"It was a good race. I didn't make any mistakes and, while the reliability of our car helped us take advantage of the problems of others, at this stage in the season it is important to capitalise on any opportunity," the German racer said.
"We were ready when it counted; we had a good strategy and we delivered under the pressure. In terms of performance we are not yet where we would like to be, but everyone is working really hard to get there and make our car quicker."
Perez said it was one of those unusual races where a lot of things happened.
"But I'm certainly happy to come away with a point and see Nico also score good points for the team. We went for a different strategy compared to Nico to maximise the team?s chances so I started on the medium tyres in order to have the advantage on the softs at the end of the race.
"Unfortunately, after the safety car the FIA asked me to give a place back to Ericsson, which also meant dropping behind Button, and that was really painful for my race. Button was on the soft tyres and, although I was quicker, it was not easy to overtake and I lost a lot of track position," the Mexican said.
Team Principal Vijay Mallya said, "In a race with high attrition, we made the most of the reliability of the VJM08, which at the moment is one of our strengths. Nico completed an excellent race, without putting a wheel wrong from lights to flag; he looked in control and we were never in doubt he would score well today.
"Sergio had an eventful race, recovering from contact and a spin early on: he made the most of his ability to manage the tyres with a very long stint. Unfortunately, Sergio had to relinquish the positions he made at the start, otherwise he would have been very close to Nico."