Sahara Force India enjoyed a productive day in Melbourne as Nico Hulkenberg qualified in ninth place for tomorrow’s Australian Grand Prix. Teammate Paul Di Resta will line up in P15. The team are satisified with this result as they were unsure if they could make it into Q3 beforehand.
Nico Hulkenberg, VJM05/03, P9:
“I’m very happy with today’s result because I was not sure we would be able to make Q3. We did a good job after FP3 to improve the set-up and I’m feeling much more comfortable with the car now. Obviously going into the race there is some uncertainty because we haven’t really done many runs on high fuel here because of the wet sessions yesterday, but all the teams are in the same situation. It’s the same case with the tyres because we will still be learning about them tomorrow and discovering how long they last. It should be an exciting race and I’m looking forward to it.”
Paul Di Resta, VJM05/02, P15:
“It was quite a difficult session and I never quite got it together. I think my out lap was compromised by traffic and, as a result, I didn’t get the tyres in their working range, which hurt my quick lap. So there’s a lot of work to be done tomorrow and I need to work hard tonight to see if there’s anything that can be done overnight to improve things for tomorrow. Over the winter our long run pace has looked quite strong so hopefully I can move forward in the race and challenge for some points.”
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal:
“I think we can come away feeling pretty satisfied with today’s performance. Nico has done an outstanding job all weekend and managed to squeeze the maximum from the car in Q2 and Q3. There are some quick cars behind, but I’m confident that we can have a strong race from there and remain in the hunt for points. As for Paul, he’s in the thick of the midfield battle and will need to fight hard to move forward in the race. He didn’t have the best run in Q2 due to some tyre issues, which compromised his only timed lap at the end of the session. We know he’s a fighter and hopefully he can make some progress in the race.”