Perez was stuck behind Felipe Massa for the majority of the race, shadowing the Williams from lap 22 but unable to find a way past. The situation led Perez - who came home tenth - to complain about the team's strategy over the radio, and Fernley says he understands why the Mexican was annoyed during his home race as team-mate Nico Hulkenberg finished seventh.
“He’s not going to be happy unless he was where Nico was," Fernley said. "I can understand the frustration, but bottom line from a team point of view both drivers performed superbly for us.
“There’s nothing we could do at any point to get him in front through a pit stop strategy. Could we have tried another possibility? Yes we could towards the end, but the difficulty is you’ve got the lead cars coming, you’ve got to pass those as well as Felipe. So the answer really in the end looked after itself and it was to stay where we were and hope maybe Felipe’s tyres degraded more than they did. He drove a good race.”
With Hulkenberg spinning late on when being passed by Kimi Raikkonen for sixth place, Fernley admits there were tense times on the pit wall throughout as Force India edged one point further clear of Williams in the constructors' championship.
“Coming into Mexico we were probably bracing ourselves to lose two or three points because clearly it’s a Williams-centric circuit rather than a Force India. So, going away with an additional point, I’m extremely pleased.
“My heart was in my mouth all the way through because we had one within a second of Felipe all the way and the other one obviously having a moment towards the end!”