If you had to describe Sahara Force India’s weekend in Belgium, you would be right in saying it was a ‘mixed bag.’
For Sergio Perez it was an impressive weekend and his performance at Spa-Francorchamps definitely had people turning. For Nico Hulkenburg it was a case of ‘what if.’
If Sergio’s fifth place finish is a sign of things to come for the remainder of 2015, we could see Sahara Force India challenging for podium finishes before the end of the season. Now that would be brilliant.
Two different tales
Friday proved to be a productive and positive day for the team with both Sergio and Nico seemingly happy with the set-up of the updated VJM08. Both drivers also made it into the top ten in the third Free Practice session so the signs were there that Sahara Force India could have a strong weekend.
Unfortunately for Hulkenburg he just missed out on a place in Q3 and ended up qualifying 11th. If he thought that was agonising, what was to follow on race day was even more frustrating. A loss of power on the parade lap meant Nico was not able to take the start despite the best efforts of the team to fix the problem.
Without those issues, Hulkenburg for sure would have been in contention to score points. The Belgian Grand Prix weekend really was a case of ‘what if’ for the German. Disappointment for one half of the Sahara Force India garage, but delight for the other half.
Sergio Perez had a stunning weekend and he can be satisfied with the ten points he bagged for the team at Spa. The Mexican was flawless in qualifying and qualified an excellent fifth. He started the race fourth due to Romain Grosjean’s five place penalty.
You know the phrase ‘a flying start,’ Perez had one of those starts on Sunday. He was up to second come the end of the first lap and was even close to taking the lead on the opening lap when he was alongside Lewis Hamilton after Eau Rouge.
The high degradation on Perez’s soft tyres in the first two stints took its toll in the end and he was unable to hold off Grosjean and Daniil Kvyat. But fifth place was a fine result for Checo and you know what they say – the only way is up!