Sun: Force India, Renault, Williams, Toro Rosso

Date published: April 30 2017

There was yet another double points finish for Force India, while Jolyon Palmer suffered another crash in his Renault.

Force India

Sergio Perez: “Sixth place feels very satisfying and with Esteban in seventh it has been a really positive day for the team. We’ve consolidated our fourth place in the championship and I’m seventh in the drivers’ championship – which is a tremendous effort from the first four races. The race today was not especially exciting for me because I was always on my own in clean air – chasing the cars ahead and pulling away from the cars behind. So there were no on-track battles and I could simply focus on managing my race and bringing home the points. The team did a great job with the strategy – waiting until the right moment to pit and not coming in too soon. Once again, we took all the opportunities that were on the table and we can feel very happy tonight.”

Esteban Ocon: “It feels great to finish in seventh after such a strong performance from the whole team. I am very happy with what we achieved this weekend: we improved in every session and never went backwards. From the mechanics to the engineers, everyone did a great job and we can be proud. I feel there is nothing more we could have extracted from the car: the only negative from the race was a poor start, but I managed to get those positions back before the first lap was over, so it was all good in the end. Finishing in the points in all of the first four races is a great way to start the season and the best I could have hoped for. We are in fourth position going into Barcelona, where we expect some upgrades to be on our car, so we can be confident about the future.”

Renault

Nico Hulkenberg: “I’m really happy with the strategy we ran today; there wasn’t too much left from the tyres at the end of that first stint, but we achieved what we set out to do. I lost track position at the start so we let everyone else pit ahead of us and went as long as we could go on the first set of boots. I kept pushing and the car performed really well, staying switched on with the track improvement meaning I was able to get faster and faster. I was definitely happier with our race pace today; we’ve still got more work to do but we’ve clearly taken a step in the right direction this weekend.”

Jolyon Palmer: “I had a decent-enough start then heading down to Turn Two there was a Sauber on my outside then Romain made a very ambitious move over the kerbs on the inside from behind. There was no space for me to go because of the Sauber, so maybe Romain wasn’t aware of that, but he kept it in, hit me, then we were both out of the race. That was a shame for both of us really. I feel for my crew this weekend as they’ve worked so hard on the car, then we had such a short race. Now it’s reset, reload and look to Barcelona.”

Williams

Felipe Massa: "I'm disappointed, we were just unlucky with the tyres. I was really taking care of the car and the tyres, keeping the gaps in the right place, and we had a sixth position in our pocket today. It is unfortunate and painful for the team that we have lost good points, but we can't do anything about it. The car felt good, it was consistent with a good pace, I had a good start and first lap. I was around eight seconds ahead of Perez, we were just unlucky. I'm so happy that Valtteri managed to get his first victory. I knew when he signed for Mercedes that he was going to do a good job there, like he did for Williams, and he's doing it. He will be a different driver now with that first victory in his pocket.”

Lance Stroll: “It was so unfortunate. I had a really good start and think I was around P8 at one point, and then I got squeezed on the kerb, there wasn’t much grip and the car just got away from me. I knew I didn’t have any damage, but I fell to the back and it was just one of those things that happens. After that, it was a difficult first stint because I had that spin and then had to spin the car round to keep going, and I overheated the rears quite a bit so I had poor grip. But then I recovered a bit on the second stint and saw the chequered flag for the first time, which was nice. It was a bit disappointing with the spin, as I think it could have been quite a bit better, but we will take our first finish.”

Toro Rosso

Carlos Sainz Jr: "What a tough race, especially as we were starting from behind because of the grid penalty… But today we got everything right: the start, the first lap, the pit-stop, the strategy… So we can be happy! We did a good race and recovered well from P14 to P10, which I think was the maximum we could do this weekend. After the pit-stop it was a bit of a lonely race for me and I just had to control the gap to Stroll, which we managed to do well. I must say that now I'm really looking forward to the next race in Barcelona –it's a track where I've always performed very well and to race in front of my home crowd is always very special. I also have my own grandstand there, so a lot of people will be coming to support me and this will surely be one of the highlights of the weekend."

Daniil Kvyat: "My start today wasn't the best and I lost a bit of time there. During my pit-stop, we managed to get past Magnussen even though we then got undercut by Stroll and during my second stint I was unfortunately blue-flagged quite a lot and lost some more time having to let the leading cars by. I'd like to point out that my first comments after jumping out of the car this afternoon were maybe a bit too hard on the team – after having sat down with my engineers I understand why the team called me in a bit too early for my pit-stop: at the time, it was a very difficult call to make and nobody knew that the leading teams were going to stay out for so long. On a positive note, the last part of the race, in clean air, was fantastic – we were flying and the car felt great! We now need to bring what made the car so good into the next races."