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Italian GP: Qualifying notes - Force India

NEWS STORY
05/09/2015

Qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix in Monza saw both Sahara Force India cars progress to Q3, with Sergio Perez setting the seventh fastest time ahead of Nico Hulkenberg in ninth.

Sergio Perez: "I am pretty happy with the job I did today in qualifying. I was able to improve my time in every session and each lap was pretty good. In Q3 I was a bit too optimistic and tried to get a tow from Kimi on the straight but it didn't work: it actually cost me a couple of tenths but in any case it wouldn't have been enough to be in front of the two Williams cars. The race will be hard, but our target should be to challenge Williams ahead of us. The b-spec car has been performing solidly in the past few races so I see no reason why we shouldn't be in a position to have a good performance tomorrow. A good start will be crucial as the strategy options are quite straightforward; one of the keys of the race will be tyre degradation, but I am confident we will be strong and score good points."

Nico Hulkenberg: "It's good to be in the top ten, but without the problems in Q3 there was the potential to be much higher up the grid. I just lost power on my in-lap following my first run on used tyres, which was caused by a problem with the fuel system. I made it back to the pits, but the mechanics had to push me back to the garage and we lost a lot of time. When we tried to restart the car, the gearbox was stuck in between two gears and I couldn't select neutral in time to get out again for a lap on new softs. It's a shame because I think sixth or seventh place was possible today. I'm sure we will fix these issues for tomorrow, but grid position is important here so it's going to be a bit more difficult starting from ninth. The midfield is looking very competitive and some of the teams have stepped up their game since yesterday. We will have to fight hard to get the points we need."

Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal: "We've shown a lot of promise since the start of practice and in that sense it's satisfying to see both cars through to Q3. Sergio is up in seventh and did a good job despite not being totally happy with the balance of the car. Nico was just as competitive as Sergio and without the fuel system problem I'm sure he would have been several places higher up the grid. It means he's out of position slightly, but with solid race pace he can hopefully progress tomorrow. The priority is to have a clean race and pick up good points."

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