Perez encouraged to score on weak Force India track

© XPB 

Sergio Perez is encouraged by Force India’s performance in the Spanish Grand Prix on a circuit which has not suited it in the past.

Force India brought a number of upgrades to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, a circuit where it had never finished higher than seventh place. Despite a disappointing start to the season for the team, Perez matched that best result and held off the Williams of Felipe Massa, something which the Mexican driver believes bodes well for the future.

"It was a very good race and I think we managed to get the maximum result we could hope to achieve,” Perez said. “We were able to keep some very fast cars behind us and we capitalised on the accident on the first lap [between Hamilton and Rosberg] to bring home a good amount of points.

“I had to fend off Felipe in the last three laps: I was on very old tyres and he was closing in on me, but I managed to defend my position. This was pretty much the only action I had all afternoon; the rest of my race was quite lonely, which helped me look after the tyres and allowed me to defend in the final few laps.

“We had a good strategy that helped us leapfrog the Haas and brought us this good result on a track that has never been our strongest."

Team-mate Nico Hulkenberg retired with a fire at the rear of his car and he also believed he would have been fighting for points had he not been hit with another reliability issue.

"It’s frustrating not to finish another race,” Hulkenberg said. “I saw some smoke coming from the back of my car and then it developed into a fire so I had to park quickly at the side of the track. It’s a shame because I missed the chance to fight for points and we also missed out on learning more about the car in race conditions.

“Sometimes in racing you have periods when things don’t go your way, but you have to keep the faith and believe that sooner or later your luck will change. There are also some positives to take away from this weekend because we’ve made progress with the car and I think the performance will continue to improve. So we will keep working hard and come back stronger at the next one."

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