Formula Racing

AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX: Race Report

Sahara Force India
By Formula1 Team


Sahara Force India brought home the first points in the 2014 season, courtesy of strong drives by Nico Hülkenberg who brought the VJM07 home in sixth position and by Sergio Perez, who finished in tenth.

The German, starting in P7 on the grid, produced a good start to move on to fifth; some very promising pace in the high-speed parts of the circuit meant the Hulk was soon able to apply pressure to early front-runners Alonso and Hamilton, leapfrogging them with two brave overtaking manoeuvres at the fast turn 11 left-right hander to settle in fourth position.

Sergio Perez was not as lucky at the start: in 16th on the grid, he got off to a good start to make up three places in the first few turns. However, a puncture - suffered when he was hit by Gutierrez's Sauber - forced Checo in the pits at the end of the first lap. His work for the day cut out, the Mexican, at his first race with the team, was able to catch up to the back of the pack when the Safety Car came out, but the race had already turned into a recovery drive for the brave Perez.

Having found a good pace, Nico spent the first two stints keeping a close eye on the menacing duo lining up behind him in the shape of Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button - a total of three World Championships between them. Despite the difference in performance, however, the Hulk produced a precise display of driving, not allowing any space or opening the experienced drivers behind him might exploit. It wouldn't be until the pit-stop window that both drivers would find way to move ahead of Nico.

Just as Nico controlled the rivals in his rear-view mirrors, Sergio was lining up in those of the lower ends of the pack - usually not remaining there long, as he made the best of the VJM07's pace to quickly move up the ranks. His comeback was halted, however, when meeting former Sahara Force India man Adrian Sutil, one-stopping on a Sauber set up to exploit its straight-line advantage - making it nigh impossible to overtake. Perez would need to wait for the pit-stops to make his way past the German and on to P11.

As the race wound to an end, and with Sergio's position more or less confirmed by the sizeable gap to tenth-placed Daniil Kvyat, Nico came under the increasing pressure of Valtteri Bottas - the Finn charging after an early kiss to the wall. Despite holding strong for a few laps, Nico had to concede position to a DRS pass of the Williams driver. Now seventh, the Hulk still had to produce a spotless performance to hold back Raikkonen's Ferrari, the 2007 Champion ultimately kept at a safe distance to the chequered flag, to claim our first points of the 2014 season.

Germany GP

31st July 2016

  • Driver Team Time/Lag
  • Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:30:44.200
  • Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing + 6.996s
  • Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing + 13.413s
  • Nico Rosberg Mercedes + 15.845s
  • Sebastian Vettel Ferrari + 32.750s
  • Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari + 37.273s
  • Nico Hulkenberg Force India + 70.049
  • Jenson Button McLaren + 1 lap
  • Valtteri Bottas Williams + 1 lap
  • Sergio Perez Force India + 1 lap

Belgian GP

26th - 28thAug 2016

  • Practice 1 Fri 26th Aug 2016

  • Practice 2 Fri 26th Aug 2016

  • Practice 3 Sat 27th Aug 2016

  • Qualifying Sat 27th Aug 2016

  • Race Sun 28th Aug 2016

standings

Formula One World Championship 2016

  • Driver Points Team
  • Lewis Hamilton 217 Mercedes
  • Nico Rosberg 198 Mercedes
  • Daniel Ricciardo 133 Red Bull Racing
  • Kimi Räikkönen 122 Ferrari
  • Sebastian Vettel 120 Ferrari
  • Max Verstappen 115 Red Bull Racing
  • Valtteri Bottas 58 Williams Mercedes
  • Sergio Perez 48 Force India Mercedes
  • Felipe Massa 38 Williams Mercedes
  • Nico Hulkenberg 33 Force India Mercedes