Sochi: Sahara Force India driver Sergio Perez finished ninth to collect two points while team-mate Nico Hulkenberg crashed out in a chaotic first lap in an incident filled Russian Grand Prix of Formula One Championships here today.
Perez delivered a strong recovery drive after suffering a lap one puncture. Hulkenberg, on the other hand, was out of luck after being hit by Esteban Gutierrez at turn two of the first lap, which ended his race.
Perez said he would have finished higher had not the first lap puncture did not happen.
"It's obviously good to come away with my first points of the year, but without the puncture on lap one the result today could have been so much better. I did not get the best start, but I found a good line going into turn two and I was ahead of Ricciardo and Vettel coming out of the corner. Then I realised I had a puncture, which dropped me to the back of the field," Perez said.
"After that it was a recovery drive and I managed to get back up to ninth place just behind Grosjean. I had a quicker car and fresher tyres, but he had very good traction and I just could not get close enough to make a move. It's a shame not to score more points because we did everything right today, but we were just really unlucky," added the Mexican.
Hulkenberg said he was disappointed to end the race in a chaotic collision.
"It was a very frustrating end to my weekend. I got to turn two and felt a big shove from behind: Esteban (Gutierrez) out-braked himself, hit me and spun me around. I was hit by other cars and the damage was too much to even attempt to continue. It's very disappointing and not the way I wanted to celebrate my 100th race weekend," he said.
"Hopefully our luck will change soon as we have been very unlucky lately. We should have some upgrades in Spain and I want to be back scoring the points we deserve," said the German driver.