Tag Archive: Grand Prix

Perez stars in Russia: Third place finish ensures history in Sochi

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CELEBRATIONS: The Force India team were jubilant when Perez crossed the finish line on Sunday

CELEBRATIONS: The Force India team were jubilant when Perez crossed the finish line on Sunday

It was a race to remember for all involved with Force India last weekend, as Sergio Perez claimed the constructor’s third podium finish in their eight-year history.

Edging out the likes of William’s Felipe Massa and Red Bulls’ Daniil Kyvat, the 25-year-old Mexican had one of the best races of his career to finish third in the Sochi Grand Prix.

Having seen teammate, Nico Hulkenberg, spin out on the first lap, all hopes for the side remained with Perez.

SUCCESS: Sergio Perez claimed his fifth career podium finish with a brilliant performance in the Russian Grand Prix

SUCCESS: Sergio Perez claimed his fifth career podium finish with a brilliant performance in the Russian Grand Prix

Last season, the Russian track proved difficult for both Force India drivers with neither managing to score any points in a rare blip during the 2014 campaign.

Despite admitting that he had all but settled for fifth spot, a final lap crash between Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas, presented the opportunity to clinch a podium finish, and Perez swooped at the chance.

Speaking after the race, he said: “It feels great to be back on the podium and to be able to celebrate with my team.

“I have been enjoying my time with the team so much and this is a great reward for all the work we have put in together.

“The call to pit under the safety car turned out to be very good because it gave us track position ahead of all the battles.

“With one lap to go, when Valtteri (Bottas) and Kimi (Raikkonen) passed me, it felt like this result had been taken from us: I was obviously disappointed but I also knew I had given all I could during the race.

“There was no more I could do because I had been on the same tyres for more than 40 laps.

“When I finally managed to get back into third it was just an amazing feeling. I am happy I was able to share this second podium with my team.

“It's a very special result and one that fills me with expectation ahead of the races in Austin and especially Mexico City.”

Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal added his praise for the young driver and called it a ‘perfect’ strategy.

“We have to compliment the team on a great performance and a perfect strategy,” he said.

“Pitting Sergio under the safety car was an aggressive call, but it paid off. We knew we would be under pressure towards the end, but having track position was crucial and the events on the final lap vindicated our decision.

“Checo did a great job defending against Ricciardo first and Bottas later until the very final stages and then we had some good fortune on the final lap.”

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No stopping the HULK

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With the 2014 Formula One season beginning to take shape, there have been a few things that lovers of the sport know they can now rely on.

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg seem certain for a one-two finish in just about every race, Sebastian Vettel is in the worst slump of his Red Bull career, and of course Force India’s very own Nico Hulkenberg will pick up a points finish.

The German driver has been performing above all expectations this year, and his latest ten point haul at the Monaco Grand Prix last weekend has propelled him into fifth place in the Driver’s Championship.

FAST: Nico Hulkenberg picked up his third fifth-place finish last weekend at the Monaco Grand Prix

FAST: Nico Hulkenberg picked up his third fifth-place finish last weekend at the Monaco Grand Prix

His fifth placed finish is the best ever for any Force India driver at the world-renowned track, and Hulkenberg picked up the points in style, completing one of the finest overtaking manoeuvres of the current campaign.
Speaking after the race, the 26-year-old driver, who finished fifth for the third time this year, said he was delighted with his performance.

“Ten points today is a great reward after such a difficult race,” he said. “The last twenty laps were really tricky because my supersoft tyres were at the end of their life and it was hard to hold off the cars behind me and stay away from the barriers.

“There were a few close moments when I kissed the wall, but I survived and managed to hold on to fifth place.
“Fortunately my car was quick in the right places – going into the tunnel and also through the final corner.”

Speaking about his favourite moment of the race, he added: “There were some enjoyable moments in the race, especially my move on Magnussen.

“He had to let the Toro Rosso back through and he lost a bit of momentum so I saw my opportunity to stick my nose down the inside of turn eight. On a track like Monaco it gives you a big smile to make the move stick.”

Unfortunately for the Force India team, Hulkenberg’s teammate, Sergio Perez, was clipped on the first lap and forced to retire to leave the Mexican with no points in France.

Drivers and Constructors will now head to North America for their next challenge with the Canadian Grand Prix set to be held on the 8th June.

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A Force to be dealt with

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After picking up just 77 points throughout the whole of the 2013 Formula One campaign, Force India’s new look team have been the surprise package of 2014, with the team currently sat in third place in the constructors standings.

An amazing start to Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India career has seen him clinch a point’s finish in every race, with last weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix proving to be no exception, coming home in sixth place.

Teammate, Sergio Perez, picked up two points after another convincing display off the back of his podium finish in Malaysia earlier this month.

FLYING: Nico Hulkenberg has made a great start to the 2014 Formula season, and currently sits fourth in the driver’s standings after a sixth place finish in China

FLYING: Nico Hulkenberg has made a great start to the 2014 Formula season, and currently sits fourth in the driver’s standings after a sixth place finish in China

The side have now amassed a huge total of 54 points after just four races and look set to smash their record points tally for a single season.

“Finishing in sixth and bringing both cars home in the points again was a very positive result for the team,” the German Hulkenberg said.

“It was actually a pretty straightforward race for me after we got in front of Massa: I had to manage my tyres, my pace and avoid mistakes, and it only got tricky at the end when Bottas was getting a bit closer.

“We have beaten all other customer Mercedes cars, which are our main competition at the moment, but we have also seen some other teams up their game so we will need to keep pushing.”

Perez, who started the race way back in 16th position on the grid, finished in ninth spot and says the whole team is now focussed on maintaining their impressive form in Barcelona in May.

“It was not easy to overtake today, even the cars on a different strategy, so I think ninth place was the maximum,” he said.

“It means I’ve scored points in three out of four races, but I was hoping for more today after the weekend we had in Bahrain.

“It’s also clear that all the teams around us are finding pace so we have to keep working hard to be ready for Barcelona.”

The Barcelona Grand Prix will take place on 11th May, with home-country favourite, Fernando Alonso, looking to repeat last year’s success and come away with a first place finish.

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It’s back!

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With the 2014 Formula One season finally kicking off this weekend at the Australian Grand Prix, Sahara Force India driver, Sergio Perez has been speaking about his excitement ahead of the first race.

Perez joined Force India in the off-season and with driving partner, Nico Hulkenberg, alongside him, he will be hoping to build on his 11th place finish from last season.

OPTIMISTIC: Sergio Perez says the whole Force India team are ‘hungry’ for success this year and is expecting ‘big things’

OPTIMISTIC: Sergio Perez says the whole Force India team are ‘hungry’ for success this year and is expecting ‘big things’

Q) Sergio, the start of the season is here. Are you looking forward to racing in Melbourne?

A) It’s the first race of the year so I’ve been looking forward to this moment for a long time. I hope we can have a great start of the season.

Q) How have you found the new generation of Formula One cars to drive?

A) The new rules are interesting and the cars are quite challenging. There is less downforce now, but there is a lot of torque from the engine so it’s quite a different feeling. You also have to think about managing the fuel load and we know that Melbourne is a circuit with high fuel consumption.

Q) Do you feel busier in the car this year?

A) Yes, there are more things to do in terms of managing the systems on the car so it’s more complicated than last year. The pre-season testing has given us enough time to get to know the new systems so I don't foresee any issue come the first race.

Q) How would you sum up the pre-season so far?

A) I think we are feeling well prepared going into Melbourne. Testing has had its ups and downs, as always, but we ended the second Bahrain test in a good position. There are still areas we need to improve, but I think we have made a good start and we can build on that.

Q) How are you feeling about your first race weekend with Sahara Force India?

A) It's always a good feeling to start with a new team. I had a full winter to get to know everyone and I’m feeling ready now. The team is very hungry and I hope we can achieve some great things this year.

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Force India launch GP2 team

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The new-look Sahara Force India continued its changing image last week, as it expanded its driver development programme by teaming up with Hilmer Motorsport to create Force India’s official GP2 team.

The new partnership will see 22-year-old Facu Regalia and Daniel Abt, 21, race on the GP2 grid in the distinctive colours of Force India in the Hilmer Motorsport GP2 car.

The development programme expands on the success of Sahara Force India’s reserve driver programme, which has already helped progress several drivers to Formula One race seats.

daniel-abt
It also represents a logical addition to the team’s ‘One From A Billion’ talent hunt, which helped unearth a selection of young Indian karting talents. The most successful candidate has been Jehan Daruvala, a 15-year-old from Mumbai, who graduated into the team’s Academy last year and was crowned British KF3 Junior champion.

Dr Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director of Sahara Force India, was delighted to have established the new team.

DRIVERS: Facu Regalia and Daniel Abt will join the new Force India GP2 team for the upcoming campaign

DRIVERS: Facu Regalia and Daniel Abt will join the new Force India GP2 team for the upcoming campaign

“As a team we’ve always placed great emphasis on nurturing young drivers so I’m delighted to announce our partnership with a GP2 team,” he said.

“It’s the logical next step as we look to bring through the next generation of drivers and provide them with the opportunity to showcase their talent.

“Our presence in GP2 moves us closer to having a holistic development programme to school drivers from grassroots karting to the higher echelons of professional motorsport.”

Franz Hilmer, Team Principal and Managing Director of Hilmer Motorsport added: “We are very happy about the collaboration between Hilmer Motorsport and Sahara Force India Formula One Team.

“I’ve had an association with Sahara Force India for ten years and we are looking forward to working together on a sporting level going forward.

“With Facu Regalia and Daniel Abt we have two very talented young drivers with the potential to progress to Formula One. We will do our best to support them on their way to the pinnacle of motor racing.”

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New look Force India welcomes Sergio Perez

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With the acquisition of Nico Hulkenberg last week, Force India have wasted no time in finding a new partner for the German, after snapping up the highly-rated Sergio Perez.

Despite finishing the 2013 season in fine form, registering 26 points from his final four races, the McLaren driver was released from the constructors after the last race, yet it certainly didn’t take him long to find a new home.

The 23-year-old Mexican completes Sahara Force India’s 2014 line-up alongside Hulkenberg and helps create one of the most exciting pairings on the grid.

SIGNED: Force India Team Principal and Managing Director, Dr Vijay Mallya, said it was a ‘pleasure to welcome Sergio Perez to the team’

SIGNED: Force India Team Principal and Managing Director, Dr Vijay Mallya, said it was a ‘pleasure to welcome Sergio Perez to the team’

Dr Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director welcomed his new driver to Force India and believes that Perez has the ability to push the team to a new level.

He said: “It’s a pleasure to welcome Sergio to the team. He brings a healthy mix of youth and experience, and I’ve been very impressed with his recent performances. He already has several podium finishes to his name and being chosen by McLaren last year was a clear indication that he is a driver to watch for the future.

“We also recognise Sergio’s incredible talent and we are proud to have him in our team. He clearly has great speed and plenty of fire in his belly. Our job is to make sure he settles in quickly by creating the right atmosphere so that he can realise his potential. By pairing Sergio alongside Nico, we enter the new season with an extremely competitive line-up, which will go toward helping us achieve our goals for the new season.”

Sergio Perez added: “Coming here was always my first choice and I’m really happy everything has now been confirmed. I want to say thank you to Vijay and the whole team for giving me the opportunity.

“This is a young team with a lot of determination and they’ve produced competitive cars for the last few years. It’s all change for next season with the new regulations, but I already have a good feeling about 2014.”

Whilst Force India may be looking forward to an exciting new season, British driver, Paul Di Resta appears to be out in the cold as his Formula One future looks in serious doubt.

The Brit enjoyed a productive season last year, finishing just one point off his replacement, Perez, yet it seems he may now switch racing codes to IndyCar or return to German touring cars. Adrian Sutil meanwhile is hotly tipped to join Sauber in the near future.

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Return of the incredible Hulk-enberg

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Just one year after Nico Hulkenberg said his goodbye’s to the Force India team, the German is back and raring to go for the 2014 season.

Hulkenberg officially rejoined the team on the 3rd December from Sauber, having spent the 2011 and 2012 season with the constructors, and is now expected to partner either Paul Di Resta or Adrian Sutil next year.

The 26-year-old, who finished 10th in last year’s final Drivers Standings, has already built up a strong working relationship and will look to complete a smooth transition as the team moves into the new era of Formula One.

DRIVER: Force India Team Principal and Managing Director, Dr Vijay Mallya pictured with his latest acquisition, Nico Hulkenberg

DRIVER: Force India Team Principal and Managing Director, Dr Vijay Mallya pictured with his latest acquisition, Nico Hulkenberg

Dr Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director of Force India, was glad to see Hulkenberg ‘back onboard’ and is excited for the new season.

He said: “I’m delighted to see Nico back with Sahara Force India. When he drove for us in 2012, it became clear Nico was an exceptional talent and he has continued to impress everyone in the paddock with his strong performances this season.

“Having Nico in our line-up is a real statement of intent and a huge boost for everyone associated with the team. We have high hopes and expectations for 2014 and by signing Nico we have put ourselves in the best position to achieve those objectives and enjoy what could be our most competitive season yet.

Speaking after signing the deal, Hulkenberg said he was ‘happy to be back’.

“The team is aiming high for next year and I believe that the experience I have gained over the years will help us achieve those goals,” he said.

“I genuinely believe we can have a competitive package in 2014. I’ve heard a lot of positive things about the Mercedes engine as well, so I think there is a lot to be excited about for next year.

“I know this team and I can see their determination; it’s a great bunch of people and we all share the same hunger for success.”

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Checkered flag waved on 2013 season

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Eight months and 19 races after the 2013 Formula One season was launched, the whole show came to an end last weekend, with the now common sight of Sebastian Vettel being crowned victorious.

The German has had a stellar season, winning all of the final nine races, 13 in total, and breaking record after record for the Red Bull team.

GOODBYE: Mark Webber will leave the sport after 12 years, to focus on other racing

GOODBYE: Mark Webber will
leave the sport after 12 years, to focus on other racing

Last weekend’s Grand Prix in picturesque Brazil was the icing on the cake for the 26-year-old who walked away with his fourth consecutive world title. Teammate Mark Webber also clinched his eighth podium finish of the year, coming in third, and will now leave the sport after 12 years to focus on a career elsewhere in racing.  Force India’s pairing of Adrian Sutil and Paul Di Resta have had a rollercoaster season to reflect on after a flying start petered out into seven blank results in the final 11 races.

Both drivers finished the latest race empty handed which proved to be a cruel blow to the British racer, Di Resta, who slipped down two positions in the final overall standings to 12th; Adrian Sutil was 19 points behind in 13th.

BLANK: Paul Di Resta was disappointed to finish the season outside of the top ten but was proud of the team’s efforts this year

BLANK: Paul Di Resta was disappointed to finish the season outside of the top ten but was proud of the team’s efforts this year

Speaking after the race, Di Resta said: “Although I missed out on a top ten position in the championship, it’s been a successful season, an incredible journey and I want to say a massive thanks to the team for the job they’ve done this year.

“I think we can go away from here quite satisfied with what we achieved today and with the year as a whole.” Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal, reiterated his racers’ comments adding: “In the end we achieved our target of a top six finish quite comfortably, which is a real credit to everybody at Sahara Force India. It means we’ve finished in the top six twice in the last three seasons, consolidating our reputation as being the best non-manufacturer team.

“Looking back on the season as a whole I think we can be proud of our performance. The start of the year was exceptional and we recaptured our form in the final few races. We look forward to the challenge of 2014 and will come back determined to pick up where we left off.”

PODIUM: (l-r) Mark Webber (Third); Sebastian Vettel (First); Fernando Alonso (Second) celebrate their finish at the final grand prix of the season

PODIUM: (l-r) Mark Webber (Third); Sebastian Vettel (First); Fernando
Alonso (Second) celebrate their finish at the final grand prix of the season

Formula One will return next year for the 2014 campaign with the first race in Australia in March. Until then, teams have four months to ready themselves for the next installment with constructors and drivers alike having to try to find a way of stopping the Vettel dominance.

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