The Pink Panthers are now in
fourth place in the F1 standings
The BWT Best Water Treatment “Pink Panthers" of the Sahara Force India BWT Formula One team moved up to fourth place in the championship after Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon finished in seventh and tenth places respectively under the lights in the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Both of the VJM10-02 cars powered by Mercedes AMG turbocharged 1.6-liter V-6 engines followed the same tire strategy as they started on the Pirelli Supersoft (red sidewalls) , exchanged those for new SuperSoft tires on the first pit stop then changed to Pirelli Soft (yellow sidewalls) for the last third of the race.
Sergio Perez was jubilant with his finish. “To finish seventh after starting from eighteenth is an amazing recovery and we can be very happy tonight. It’s also our thirteenth consecutive race in the points, which is an incredible achievement. The first lap was very important for my race because I made up five places and was up in thirteenth by the end of lap one. I had great tire life in the first stint; we stayed out as long as we could and the safety car played into our hands just when I needed to make a pit stop (on lap 13). So I think we made the most of every opportunity and the whole team – the engineers and the mechanics – played their part in executing a perfect race."
Esteban Ocon seemed happy with his tenth place result “It was a really fun race and I had to fight really hard. My start was very strong – I gained four places in the first few corners and that was really enjoyable. We showed again that our car is strong in race conditions – probably better than in qualifying – and that’s important because you only score points on Sunday. My target coming into the season was to score points in every race so I’m pleased to have scored in all three so far.”’
Robert Fernley the deputy team principal offered his analysis of the Bahrain Grand Prix. “The team made all the right calls and Sergio and Esteban didn’t put a wheel out of place. Sergio was fortunate with the timing of the safety car, while Esteban lost ground, but that’s just the luck of the draw with a safety car. Scoring seven points is a fantastic result and moves us up to fourth place in the championship. We are racing well, taking our opportunities and scoring important points. It’s a solid start to our season and gives us a good base to build on as we improve the VJM10 over the coming races.”
The next Formula One race on the schedule for the "Pink Panthers" is April 30 for the Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom, street circuit built around Olympic Park in Sochi, Russia.
Quotes graphics and photos provided by the Sahara Force India F1 team