Force India confirmed itself in fourth place in the Formula 1 constructors’ championship for the second year running after a strong double-points finish in Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix.
After enjoying its best-ever season in F1 by finishing fourth in 2016, Force India has been the class of the midfield throughout this season with drivers Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon both scoring points on a regular basis.
The pair charged into the points once again in Mexico, with Ocon taking P5 and Perez P7 as their haul of 16 points clinched the team P4 in the constructors’ championship with two races to spare.
Both Ocon and Perez dodged incidents on a chaotic first lap to rise up the order, running third and fifth early on before losing out to Ferrari drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel through the race.
“It’s a great day for the team. Fifth place in the race and securing fourth place in the championship is a fantastic achievement after a strong season,” Ocon said.
“For a while I believed the podium was possible because I was sitting in third place for so long. I made a great start and then I pushed as hard as I could in the free air. Sadly the Virtual Safety Car gave Kimi an advantage during the pit stops and he was able to overtake us.
“The final few laps of the race with [Lance] Stroll behind me were not easy. He had fresher tires and managed to catch me, so I had to give it everything to stay ahead.
“When you work so hard for a result it feels very satisfying so I look forward to celebrating tonight.”
“Despite the poor qualifying yesterday, we came back stronger today and managed to have a really good race with competitive pace,” reflected Perez after his home race.
“It’s just a shame that the Virtual Safety Car happened at the wrong moment because it allowed Stroll to jump ahead of me. Otherwise I think we could have finished in sixth.
“The main objective of the weekend was to confirm fourth place in the championship so I’m extremely happy that we have done this with two races to spare.
“It’s been another special weekend with so much support from the fans and I have to say a huge thank you to all of them for the energy they have given me.”
Force India’s result in Mexico also saw it beat its record points total of 173 from 2016, sitting on 175 with two races to go this year.