Noticeable rates of tire degradation proved an obstacle to Sahara Force India’s efforts in the Spanish Grand Prix, but Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg’s ninth and tenth place finishes made sure the team left Barcelona with another double points result.
“There were few surprises in this afternoon’s race and our final result of ninth and tenth is a fair reflection of the pace we have shown during this weekend,” said team owner Vijay Mallya.
“As I said yesterday, this circuit was never going to play to our strengths and yet we still managed to secure a double points finish. It means we’ve scored points in every race so far this year and this keeps up our momentum in the championship.”
Hulkenberg, who finished in the same place he started, said that Sunday’s race was “a case of damage limitation” but felt like things worked out in the end for the team.
“We knew from the early practice sessions that this wasn’t going to be our strongest track so to get two cars in the points is a positive result,” he said. “The tire degradation was high and the car was not so easy to drive, but I think everybody was struggling in the final part of the race.
“I thought we would need to make a third stop, but fortunately the tires held on and I was able to score a point. We will use all the data we got over the weekend to improve for the next few races where we hope to be a bit more competitive.”
As for Perez, who jumped two spots from 11th on the grid, he thought that the tire degradation was fine enough to warrant a less conservative approach to the race.
“Maybe if we had stopped earlier, I could have jumped ahead of some more cars because my pace was good, but it was just so difficult to overtake,” he said of his day in Barcelona.
“We knew this track would be a tough test for us, so this result is more or less what we expected here. Maybe P7 or P8 was achievable today, but we should feel quite happy to keep up our run of points.”
Force India remains fourth in the Constructors’ Championship, nine points behind Ferrari for third (66-57) as the Monaco Grand Prix looms on the horizon.