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Australian GP: Qualifying notes - Force India

NEWS STORY
25/03/2017

Qualifying for tomorrow's Australian Grand Prix saw Sergio Perez secure P11 on the grid ahead of teammate Esteban Ocon in P14.

Sergio Perez: "It's disappointing to miss out on the top ten by such a small margin - less than a tenth of a second. However, P11 is not a bad starting position and we can certainly race for good points. All the teams in the midfield seem to be very close to each other in terms of performance and there are going to be very close battles in the race. Tyre degradation is very low and finding the right rhythm during the race will be a challenge. Overtaking is difficult here, especially with these very wide cars, but I will fight hard tomorrow. I am determined to start the season well."

Esteban Ocon: "I've been on the learning curve this week in Melbourne and I'm not feeling particularly satisfied with today's qualifying session. Yes, it's the first time I've reached Q2, but there is more potential in the car. I learned a huge amount during the session and despite being far away from Sergio in Q1, I was much closer in Q2. Unfortunately I made a small mistake on my final run, so I missed the chance to be higher up the grid. We saw today just how close the midfield fight is going to be this year because even small margins can make a huge difference. On the positive side, we improved the car during qualifying; we improved our procedures and we've learned things that will help us going forward. I go into tomorrow's race believing there is a good opportunity to fight for points. The first challenge will be the new start procedures, which could really mix things up on lap one. I'm excited for tomorrow and ready for my first race in Melbourne!"

Robert Fernely: "The potential was certainly there for us to make Q3, but Sergio didn't have the cleanest lap during his final run of Q2 and he missed the top ten by a whisker. Esteban is still finding his feet with the team and is on a very steep learning curve. He's taken a very mature approach so far and is gradually building his confidence and speed with this car. He made good progress during the session and he knows there is more to come. It's a long race tomorrow so let's see what happens. Scoring points with both cars remains the objective."

Check out our Saturday gallery from Melbourne, here.

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