Perez hails “great day” for Force India

2016 Belgian Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez described fourth and fifth at Spa as an ‘enormous’ result for Force India as they overtook Williams for fourth place in the constructors’ championship.

After showing strong pace all throughout the weekend in Belgium, the team took advantage of early chaos involving Ferrari and Max Verstappen to take 22 points with Nico Hulkenberg crossing the line fourth just ahead of Perez in fifth.

“It’s definitely a great day for us,” says Perez. “Obviously we don’t need to get carried away too much because there’s still a long way to go in the season, but it’s obviously a great result for the team and especially for myself.

“Given how tricky the race was after lap one, when the two Ferraris crashed and I had to go around the long way and lost a lot of positions. But I managed to recover and bring home a lot of points for the team.”

The result could prove a pivotal point in the fight for fourth in the constructors’ championship between Force India and Williams, with Perez having passed Felipe Massa on track during the grand prix.

“It is enormous,” says Perez. “I think the team has been doing a tremendous job. Not just today, but basically since the beginning of the year. They’re really maximising the whole potential of the car.

“I really hope we can keep doing it for the rest of the season. It would be great to get fourth place, but I’m not getting carried away because there’s still many races to go. We have to keep pushing very hard, but if we can get this fourth place at the end of the year it will be fantastic.”

2016 Belgian Grand Prix

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    Will Wood
    Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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    11 comments on “Perez hails “great day” for Force India”

    1. Glad to see Force India doing well, kudos to the team.

      Long term, Williams need to let Massa go and get some young blood into the team. Short term, they should make a STR like policy of putting the faster driver in attack mode. Letting BOT past MAS a few laps earlier to attack ALO might have earned them 7th and if BOT could not get past then switch back on last lap.

      1. Williams are not going to benefit either way. Toto divested last year? So it’s only a matter of time before normal service is resumed and they are back struggling for points finishes. FI has consistently had a better car for what they had the money. If Renault were worth their salt Williams would be 9th and 10th respectively.

        I actually thought Massa did okay this race, hes the clear #2 on the team, like Kvyat, so he gets more credit per position than his teammate.

    2. Perez should stay with Force India, going to renault may not help him win any championship, it’ll take time for renault to come up to speed with the top teams by the time which renault might want to bring in new blood. He has a good thing going on here, his engineers understand him well, so there is good chemistry.

      1. yes renault itself has said that it would take a few years for them to be competitive, so perez moving to renault next year would be bad for him, might tarnish his image if car is not doing well.

        1. you think Renault will actually stay in a few more years? If they don’t watch out Manor will outscore them in the constructors.

      2. @Illusive Yeah, but in the long-term Renault is a better option than Force India as it’s a manufacturer team with a ”works” PU, so in the long-term a manufacturer team is better for winning races and championships than a privateer PU-customer team.

      3. I disagree Perez should take the gamble with Renault. They make their own PU after all.

    3. If Force India do finish fourth this year, the team will be very very attractive to any companies looking to get into F1. I hope this doesn’t happen though, VJ and co have done a fantastic job up to now.

    4. As for where Perez should go, I think he should stay put for 2017. There are quite a few changes for next season, so it’s impossible to tell this year where any of the teams will be next year. I suspect the usual suspects will be there or thereabouts, but I also expect to see Mclaren further up the field (they have a very highly rated designer now), but Perez can’t go there again… can he?

      1. I don’t think he should. Is he a good driver, of course, we all can see that.

        Will he still look good next to Button, Alonso or Vandorne? I think possibly not.

        1. If Perez is going to help anyone get to the top it should be Renault. They need a driver like him. Also that car is kinda blank and in need of some sponsors. Will we finally see Perez giant Telmex sponsor on the side of an F1 car. If Renault can deliver a powerful PU anything is possible.

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