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Belgian GP Qualifying team notes - Force India

NEWS STORY
25/08/2018

Esteban Ocon: "It's a fantastic day. After everything that has happened in the last few weeks it's a special moment and we should enjoy the day. I'm very proud of the entire team because they kept up their motivation and worked really hard to give me a quick car today. Even without the rain, we looked strong and made it well into Q3 in the dry. When the rain started falling, we knew there was the chance to get an even better result, but it wasn't easy. At the start of Q3 we tried to do a lap on the slicks, but it just wasn't possible and I had a few scary moments getting back to the pits. When we switched to the intermediates, I knew I needed to get a perfect lap, but on my first attempt I made a small mistake. So on my final lap I tried to be safe as well, and we ended up in third place. I'm so excited for the race. We have a quick car, especially down the straights and we will race hard tomorrow."

Sergio Perez: "I am very happy about today's result and what a tremendous qualifying it has been! So many emotions are going through my head - it has been a really difficult session, which makes the result even sweeter. It's a great result for the team - for the new owners, the old ones who built the team to what it is now, and everyone who works so hard every day. The rain made things stressful and we had to take some risks. We chose to stay out on slicks because the track was dry in sectors one and two, but as soon as we did the rain picked up quickly. I had a massive moment in Eau Rouge and I was lucky to stay out of the wall, but I was really expecting the worst - there's no small crash there. We had to come in for inters and I locked my rears at the final corner. I jumped on the kerb, damaged my front wing and the time we took to change it meant I only had the chance to do one lap on inters. Perhaps with one more lap I would have been able to fight for pole position, but we can still be very happy about P4. We are in a great position for tomorrow and we can put up a strong fight in the race. At the very least, we are targeting a lot of points - but you can never make predictions in Spa."

Otmar Szafnauer: "It's a very positive result today although we got a bit lucky with some of the decisions we made when the rain came. We had a quick car, as we saw in Q1 and Q2, but it is also thanks to the good decisions of the engineers that we were able to place both cars so far up the grid. At first we gambled on staying out on slicks, hoping the track would be as dry as on the finish straight, but it quickly became obvious this wasn't the case. We brought both drivers back in, had a good turnaround and we hit the best time to send them out, as the track was improving with every second at the end of Q3. Esteban and Sergio still had to deliver the good laps and they did. We are in a strong position for tomorrow's race. We know there are some very quick cars behind us, but we are going to give everything to bring home a lot of points."

Check out our Saturday gallery from Spa, here.

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