Sahara Force India saw both its cars through to Q3 today as Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon qualified in eighth and tenth places respectively for tomorrow's Spanish Grand Prix.
Sergio Perez: "I'm very happy to be up in P8, although I am a bit disappointed to lose out to Fernando [Alonso] by such a small margin. This result comes as a bit of a surprise after some difficult practice sessions, but I think the team did everything right this afternoon. I think the key to our performance was the way we approached our warm-up lap because we got the tyres in the correct window and found the grip when it mattered. The race is going to be long, but I have a new set of tyres, which we managed to save in Q1, and that should make a difference tomorrow. Overtaking is difficult here, so I hope I can make up some ground at the start: we have some very quick cars behind us who will give us a challenge, but I think we're on course for a good race."
Esteban Ocon: "It's great to make Q3 again, but I am disappointed not to be higher up the grid. My lap in Q3 was heavily compromised because I didn't get the DRS to work - I pressed the button too early and the DRS didn't open. So I missed out on some performance - maybe three tenths, which would have made a big difference. On the other hand, as a team we have both cars inside the top ten and we've shown that when it matters we are strong and consistent. That's encouraging for tomorrow and for the races to come. A good start and strong first lap will be important tomorrow and I'm confident we have the speed to get a good result."
Robert Fernley: "It's been a good day with both cars through to Q3. The team did a fantastic job overnight to unravel all the data from yesterday and dial the cars into this circuit. Barcelona provides a thorough test of a Formula One car and to be lining up in P8 and P10 shows the progress we continue to make with the development of the VJM10. Sergio's performance was strong all day: he got through Q1 using just one set of tyres and delivered clean and tidy laps in Q2 and Q3. There was the potential for even more with Esteban and without the DRS issue he would have been higher up, but it's something he will learn from. Track position is especially important at this track, so to be starting in the top ten means we're in good shape to continue our run of points finishes."