Force India to adjust qualifying strategy after Monza

Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1.
© XPB 

The Racing Point Force India team says it will use a new approach for qualifying sessions in future, following a costly mistake in Monza.

Sergio Perez missed out on progressing through to Q1 by one thousandth of a second, when the team felt his first run had been fast enough.

The Mexican driver remained in the garage only to watch others head out for second runs and improve their times by much more than expected. When the dust settled, Perez was 16th on the timing screens - and out of the session.

While he fought back in the race to finish in seventh position following the exclusion of Haas' Romain Grosjean, it only emphasised how much more Perez might have been able to achieve if he'd started further up the grid in the first place.

"We should have sent Sergio out, and I think that ultimately cost us," team principal Otmar Szafnauer told Autosport. "Mistakes should hurt you, and they have."

He said that from now on, the team will always plan to send its drivers out again in Q1 rather than trying to same sets of tyres or reduce engine wear.

"Our default now is going to be to run twice, as opposed to the default being run once."

Perez had certainly been unimpressed by what had happened on Saturday. "We underestimated how much the track would evolve in just a few minutes," he said at the time.

"We have to admit we made a mistake as a team," he admitted. "The call not to go out was wrong, but I also should have done a better lap during my first run. I lost some time and that left us vulnerable."

Even so, the performance of Perez and his team mate Esteban Ocon in the race means that Force India has jumped up to seventh place in the constructors championship.

Esteban Ocon (FRA) Force India F1 VJM11.

They're ahead of Toro Rosso, Sauber and Williams just two races after forfeiting their points to date as a result of the buy-out that saved the team from administration.

"What we've got to do is keep our heads down and race well," insisted Szafnauer. "We've got an upgrade coming in Singapore. I don't know if anyone else does, hopefully that will allow us to score some good points."

Technical director Andy Green was pleased to confirm that development work on the VJM11 had restarted, after being suspended during the team's financial crisis.

"Post-shutdown is when we normally do the big updates, so it's slipped," green admitted. "The original target was actually before the shutdown, and then Spa, and then it slipped again.

"It's currently on schedule for both cars to run in Singapore," he confirmed. "It's a bit of everything, but it's mainly aerodynamic ... But there are some suspension bits in there as well.

"It's a good step."

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