Mixed day for Force India at Silverstone

1 Comment

Sahara Force India started fourth and seventh on the grid for yesterday’s British Grand Prix but the main event didn’t work out for them as well as they probably hoped.

Hulkenberg (who started fourth) was able to squeeze out an eighth-place result for four championship points, while Sergio Perez (who started seventh) finished 11th after a collision on the opening lap with Jean Eric Vergne.

“After such a strong qualifying performance, we were naturally expecting more from today’s race,” said team boss Vijay Mallya.

“While circumstances played into our hands yesterday, today we were not so fortunate with Checo’s [Perez’s nickname] race heavily compromised by the contact with the Toro Rosso on Lap 1. The windy conditions also returned, which appeared to have an impact on our performance.”

Hulkenberg was able to maintain his streak of scoring in every Grand Prix this season but also noted how his car was perhaps compromised by the wind around Silverstone.

“It was quite a tricky afternoon,” he said. “My start was not great; I lost a couple of places, and after that, we didn’t seem to have the pace to fight for big points.

“I was struggling with the balance, which may have been related to the wind because it was very gusty out there. I had some good battles, especially in the early laps, but we were just missing the performance to really fight today.”

As for Perez, he said that it was “very difficult” to salvage his afternoon following his early run-in with Vergne.

“I struggled with the prime tire early in the race, which would have been the best time to make up the ground I had lost,” he continued. “The car felt a lot better on the option [tires], after our pit-stop, but our final stint was not enough to get back into the points.

“It was a real disappointment after the good qualifying position we had yesterday and I feel that we deserved some points from this weekend.”

Force India is now just one point ahead of McLaren for fifth in the Constructors’ Championship.

Ricciardo set to see Dale Jr.’s final Texas ride in two weeks (VIDEO)

Getty Images
Leave a comment

We’ve written before about Daniel Ricciardo’s love of Dale Earnhardt and his love of the No. 3, which Ricciardo has selected as his permanent number for the duration of his Formula 1 career. And additionally, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has offered up the opportunity that one day Ricciardo could race a JR Motorsports car in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, and Ricciardo has said he’d be up for it.

And although Earnhardt Jr. has only used the No. 3 on a handful of occasions in his career in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Ricciardo knows how much the number means to the NASCAR veteran as he prepares for his final few starts in the Cup Series the tail-end of this year.

After the Mexican Grand Prix next week, Ricciardo is set to stay in North America for the off-week between the Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix.

In that break, he said he’ll see Earnhardt Jr. in person at the Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway (Sunday, Nov. 5, 2 p.m. ET, NBCSN) to ensure he gets to see him before he retires from full-time competition.

Ricciardo explained his planning during Thursday’s pre-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass, speaking to NBCSN’s Will Buxton at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin.

“Well I’ll see him for the first time in Dallas. I’m gonna go to the NASCAR race in two weeks time at Texas Motor Speedway,” Ricciardo told NBCSN.

“Yeah, so, I gotta see him race before he hangs up the helmet.

“The Earnhardt family is a huge name in motorsport, not only in America but all over the world. Yeah I wish him well.”

Ricciardo is also optimistic he’ll get the chance to do a helmet swap with Earnhardt Jr. at the event.

“Hopefully I get to see him perform well in Texas. I’m gonna try to do a helmet swap with him. We’ll see how we go.”

Stay tuned for more on this over the coming weeks.