Sepang: Sahara Force India enjoyed a superb result at the Malaysian Grand Prix as Nico Hulkenberg finished a strong fifth, but the team had disappointment too as Sergio Perez’s race ended before the action began, here on Sunday.
The Indian F1 team is now trailing fourth-placed Williams by just one point at 19 as Hulkenberg collected 10 points with his stupendous effort after starting seventh from the grid.
Perez failed to start the race after suffering a series of issues, which caused the car to get stuck in gear on the way to the grid. “Today was a super team effort and I’m very happy with fifth place. We were the only team among the frontrunners to do a two-stop race and we had good pace all afternoon. It shows that the team’s hard work over the winter is paying off and it feels great to be so competitive and fighting up at the front,” Hulkenberg said.
“We showed that we could manage the tyres well, although I felt a bit more comfortable on the medium compound tyres than on the hards, but we always had the tyre management under control. So I’m feeling happy that we can take all these positives to Bahrain and leave Malaysia with a good helping of points,” the German added.
Perez said he was disappointed not to have a chance to race on Sunday. “We are still investigating the cause of the problem but the car kept going into neutral when I was downshifting on the way to the grid. I made it back to the garage but we could not find a solution. I need to focus on the positives because we learned a lot from the weekend so I hope we can come back stronger in Bahrain,” he said.
Team principal Vijay Mallya said it felt great that they finished 36 seconds ahead of the sixth place McLaren.