Force India puts hopes on race pace

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Spain, Circuit de Catalunyaes

Sahara Force India will start the Spanish Grand Prix from the ninth row of the grid tomorrow with Nico Hulkenberg qualifying in P17 and Sergio Perez in P18.

Having incurred delays in the development of its new car that was initially set to be introduced here at Barcelona, the team will have to do with its current spec, likely until the British Grand Prix in 4 weeks time. The result is obviously a disappointing performance as other teams have progressed well with various car updates.

Nico Hulkenberg, VJM08-01, 17th: “Barcelona is always a big test of downforce and car balance, and that’s where we are struggling at the moment, so it made for a difficult day. To be honest, I was hoping for a bit more than P17 because I was P12 in final practice, but it was much hotter and windier this afternoon which didn’t help us. My final lap was not great, but it’s not easy when the car is working in such a narrow window. The long run performance yesterday looked more promising so I would like to think we can race with the Saubers and the McLarens tomorrow.”

Sergio Perez, VJM08-02, 18th: “It hasn't been an ideal weekend so far, even though we always knew this was going to be one of our weaker circuits in qualifying. We just don’t have the performance in the car at the moment and, on a track with so many high-speed corners, that really hurts your lap time. However, we have to remain optimistic about the race: we may be starting in a low position, but that doesn't mean we cannot fight hard and we know that our race pace is looking more competitive. It’s going to be hard, but it's a long race and we will give everything to try and get a good result.”

Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal: “We always knew that the characteristics of this track would give us a tough task this weekend and our grid positions are a reflection of that. Although we’ve struggled for one lap pace, the longer runs yesterday give us cause for some optimism and I think we can still race well on Sunday afternoon. The race won't be an easy one, but there’s no doubt that both drivers will push hard to move forward and will be targeting some points.”