Formula Racing

MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX: Race Report

Sahara Force India
By Formula1 Team


Sahara Force India claimed ten points at the end of a sizzling performance in the Malaysian Grand Prix; the result, courtesy of Nico Hülkenberg's fifth place, brings the team's total tally for the season to 19 points and cements our fifth place in the Constructors' Championship, just one point shy of Williams.

The day hadn't exactly started in the best possible way for the team - a mysterious failure terminating Sergio Perez's race before it even started. Checo, who had qualified fourteenth and was eyeing a good points placement, got stuck in gear on his way to the grid, which meant the team had to retire the car.

The remaining VJM07, in the hands of Nico, started in P7 and got off the line brilliantly when the lights turned off. However, the Hulk was unable to find space on the way to the first corner and queued up behind Fernando Alonso, pulling a brave move on turn four to claim fifth place in the opening stages.

It soon became obvious the race had shaped up to be a three-stop affair, with the softer compound available - medium - losing its performance edge after a little more than a dozen laps. The VJM07, however, demonstrated similar tyre management traits to its predecessor and Nico was able to maintain consistent laptimes until well into the stint. Coupled with the good performance on mediums, the team took the decision to amend the strategy, switching on the fly to a two-stop plan.

As rivals stopped, Nico found himself climbing positions in the standings; finally, still not putting a wheel out of place, he found himself leading the race - the first time a non-Mercedes car had done so in the 2014 season - when Lewis Hamilton pitted for his first stop.

As Ricciardo retired and the strategy panned out, Nico began his final stint - on the slightly less performing hard tyres - in fourth position with the aim of making the set of P-Zeros last for 22 laps. It was a job the Hulk duly performed. However, he was unable to stop a charging Alonso, on much fresher medium tyres, from claiming fourth place back after an enthralling battle with just a handful laps to go.

As he crossed the line to bring home the best result of the season so far, Nico was 40 seconds ahead of the closest rival. On the day, just the two Mercedes cars of Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel and Alonso's Ferrari - a total of seven World Championships amassed there - were able to best the Sahara Force India.

With the next race in Bahrain just a week away, we aim to go to the desert track - one that traditionally suited our car - to maximise our performance and restore our position of double-point finishers.

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