Force India set for big points after top 10 qualifying

F1 Grand Prix, GP Canada, Circuit Gilles Villeneuveca

Sahara Force India will see both its cars start the Canadian Grand Prix inside the top ten tomorrow as Nico Hulkenberg set the seventh fastest time of the day ahead of Sergio Perez in tenth.

Nico Hulkenberg, VJM08-01, 7th: “It was definitely a good day in the office, both for me and for the team with two cars inside the top ten. Seventh is my best qualifying result so far this year, which is really encouraging as we look ahead to the race. The car has been performing well since the start of practice and I think we have a great opportunity to score some good points tomorrow. The task ahead is still going to be challenging because there are some very quick cars around us and we will have a real fight on our hands tomorrow. It will be crucial to get the strategy calls right because the rain yesterday means we don’t have all the data to answer the questions on tyre life. But I think we’re in pretty good shape; I‘m feeling confident and looking forward to a competitive race.”

Sergio Perez, VJM08-02, 10th: “It’s been a promising day and a great effort by the team to have two cars in Q3. At the same time I am not satisfied with my performance because I think I could have been higher than P10. In fact my fastest time in Q2 was much better than my Q3 time, so it’s a bit disappointing. I was just struggling to get temperature into my tyres during my out lap in Q3 and I didn’t have the grip when I needed it. However, I must look forward because I am still in P10 and that’s a good place to start. I’m feeling optimistic of moving forward and scoring some good points. We haven’t been able to do many long runs so there are still some unknowns about the race, but we’ve shown good pace all weekend and I believe we can do the same tomorrow.”

Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal: “It’s been a great effort by the team to get both Nico and Sergio inside the top ten today. The car has been well balanced around here since the first session yesterday, so it was a matter of building on the data we got overnight to continue improving the set-up.

"Nico did a brilliant job in all three qualifying sessions, improving his times with each run and extracting all he could from the VJM08. Sergio's Q2 time would have placed him just behind Nico, so there's a bit of disappointment that he is starting behind the two Red Bulls, but P10 is a good result nonetheless. This is a track where overtaking is possible and we've been near the top of the speed traps, so we will need to capitalise on that to try and move forward and bring home a good haul of points. Races are often very unpredictable here in Canada, so it should be a very interesting Sunday afternoon.”