Sahara Force India moved up to fourth place in the Constructors' Championship after Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon finished in points in today's Bahrain Grand Prix. It is a solid start to their season and gives the team a good base to build on over the coming races.
After a challenging qualifying session yesterday, the team made all the right calls in the race while none of its drivers put a wheel out of place. Only one of the cars was fortunate with the timing of the safety car, but in the end both drivers took their opportunities and scored seven points for the team.
“I’m very proud of my team today. To finish seventh after starting from P18 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", said Perez.
"The first lap was very important for my race because I made up five places and was up in P13 by the end of lap one. I had great tyre 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. 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. We showed, once again, that we never give up on Sundays and we can come back strong after a difficult qualifying.
"We know there are still areas where we can improve and that there is more speed to come from this car, but for now it feels good to have both cars in the points for the third race this season.”
Ocon is disappointed with the outcome of his race as he lost a few positions during the Safety Car period but is convinced better days will come in the future.
“It’s good to get another point, but the timing of the safety car didn’t help me today and probably cost me three positions. It’s a shame because the team did everything right, but the safety car came out just after I had made my first pit stop. So the luck was not on my side. Apart from that, it was a really fun race and I had to fight really hard", Ocon said.
"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, but I know we had the potential to score even more points. As a team we are doing a good job and I think there’s much more to come from us in the next few races.”