Japanese Grand Prix: Force India drivers gunning for strong race finish

Sahara Force India drivers Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez will start the Japanese Grand Prix in the fifth and seventh places respectively.

Japanese Grand Prix: Force India drivers gunning for strong race finish
 Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India VJM10
 Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
 Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
 Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India VJM10
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India VJM10

They had qualified seventh and eighth, but grid penalties for Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen meant that the Force India drivers moved up the order for Sunday’s race.

Both drivers expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the qualifying.

Ocon said: “I’m feeling very happy after qualifying. The car has been fantastic since the beginning of the weekend, just as it was in Malaysia, and the result shows the progress we have made recently developing the car.

“Whether it’s been wet or dry, the car has been quick, and we’ve only had to make small adjustments to find the performance.

“With some penalties for other drivers, it looks as though I will start the race from fifth place, so there’s a great opportunity to score some big points,” he added.

Perez said: “It’s been a really good qualifying session for us. The team did a great job despite the limited running, splitting the practice programme between both cars to find the best set-up.

“I believe we maximised the potential of the car and got the best result we could. So, I am happy.

“My final lap in Q3 was good. I lost a little bit of time in the final chicane and that cost me a place to Esteban. He’s done a really good job all weekend and together we have delivered an important qualifying result for the team.

“We were expecting a bigger fight in the midfield, but I am pleased we were this far ahead of our rivals and close to the Red Bulls. It will be a long race but I think we can score a lot of points because our race pace is good,” he added.

Deputy Team Principal Robert Fernley was happy that the car is competitive. “It was a very strong qualifying session with both drivers delivering on the promise we showed during practice.

“The car has been competitive all weekend and it’s further validation of the excellent work we have done lately to keep pushing the development of the VJM10.

“With a couple of grid penalties for the cars ahead of us, we should move up on the grid with both cars. It means we are very well placed to score well on Sunday,” he felt.

 
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