Both Pink Force India cars
scored valuable points at the
Australian Grand Prix
Sahara Force India scored seven points at the 2017 season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne as Sergio Perez raced to a well-earned seventh place finish, while Esteban Ocon scored his first point in Formula One with a strong drive to tenth place.
Both drivers started the race with their VJM10-02 race cars shod with the Pirelli New Ultra Soft (purple sidewall) compound tires then changed to Pirelli Soft (yellow sidewall) compound tires during their single pit stop. Ocon pitted first on lap 15 followed by Perez on lap 17.
Sergio Perez in action during the Australian GP
Perez was quoted after the race “I am very pleased with the result and I don’t believe there is anything we could have done better today. Seventh place was the most we could achieve and the team had to make all the right calls to get this result. We had the correct strategy and we managed the tires well to bring the points home. Driving these cars is so much fun: you can push a lot harder than in the past and I was doing my fastest laps towards the end of the race. We know we still need to improve this car and there is more performance to come, but this is a positive start to our season and we can be happy this evening.”
Esteban Ocon in action early in the Australian GP
In his post-race comments Ocon said “Scoring my first point in Melbourne is a very nice reward after what has been quite a tough weekend. I spent almost the entire race fighting against Fernando [Alonso] because we were side-by-side for the first lap of the race. He was able to stay ahead and I had to chase him for the rest of the afternoon. It was a hard fight because Fernando is a tough opponent and it was so difficult to get close and overtake. Eventually I found a gap in the last few laps and took my chance going into turn one. It was a big moment for my race and took me into the points. I’m happy with the result and I feel I’ve learned a huge amount from my first race weekend with this team. I hope this is the first point of many this season.”
“To come away from the first race of the year with seven points is a fantastic reward for all the hard work over the winter and this weekend. Starting the season with a good bunch of points is always an important boost for the team and shows we have good reliability too. We know there is more performance to come, but we’ve started with our best foot forward and will head to Shanghai determined to build on these results” according to Robert Fernley the Deputy Team Principal.
The Chinese Grand Prix is scheduled for Sunday April 9 2017 at the 13-turn Shanghai International Circuit.
Information and graphics provided by the Sahara Force India Formula 1 team