Mixed emotions for Force India pair

By on Monday, March 21, 2016
Sahara Force India

Sahara Force India

Force India drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez left the Australian Grand Prix with mixed emotions, as Hulkenberg claimed seventh while Perez was a lowly 13th.

Both drivers felt they were caught out by the suspension of the race, caused by the collision between Fernando Alonso and Esteban Gutierrez, but Hulkenberg was able to recover to seventh.

Perez, meanwhile, was compromised by McLaren's Jenson Button before he was slowed further by brake issues.

"To get some points in the bag at the first race is a positive way to start the year," said Hulkenberg.

"It was not an easy day and it’s difficult to know what would have happened without the race being stopped and restarted.

"[The stoppage] was a shame and it meant I was out of position and got stuck behind the Haas for most of the race.

"It was not easy to get close to Romain [Grosjean] and I had a lot of cars behind me, which meant I was always under pressure and having to defend as well as chase."

"It's a real shame to finish outside of the points," he rued.

"My problems began at the start: I lost a couple of places off the line and that put me in a very difficult position.

"I spent my first stint behind Alonso, who was on a faster compound, and being stuck in the dirty air destroyed my tyres.

"Unfortunately there was a very similar situation after the restart because I was passed by Jenson, who was on Super Soft tyres, and that cost me a lot of time.

"Sadly the Safety Car and the red flag ruined our strategy, which was to stop only once."

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