MONTREAL (Diya TV) — After the team’s first double points finish of the 2016 season at the Monaco Grand Prix, Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley says his squad’s confidence is back after a messy start to the season.
Sergio Perez drove his car to a third-place podium finish; teammate Niko Hulkenberg finished sixth in the race. The performance vaulted the team from seventh to fifth in the constructors’ standings as it leapfrogged Haas and Toro Rosso.
The previous five races had been a struggle for Force India, they had failed to maintain the momentum carried into the 2016 season with its B-spec car.
“Being able to get both cars in the points is incredibly encouraging because that’s something we’ve struggled to do,” Fernley said.
“We just needed to have a bit of good fortune because we’d had a terrible run of being in the wrong place at the wrong time for the first four races.
“Clearly our biggest rival is Toro Rosso, and we had a good result against them in Monaco which has moved us back up to fifth in the constructors’ championship.
“As we were also competitive in Barcelona after putting the updates on the car, we’ve shown it is now competitive, and the team is competitive again.
“That gives the whole team a significant lift in confidence ahead of upcoming tracks that should be good for us.”
Team principal Vijay Mallya reflected on how significant the weekend at Monaco was for his team, and shared his thoughts on how the team can use the momentum moving forward in this weekend’s Canadian GP.
“Monaco was a very significant weekend for us,” Mallya said. “I felt incredibly proud to see Checo standing on the podium. It’s a memory that will stay with me forever. It was a brilliant team effort and a much deserved reward for all the hard work that has gone on behind the scenes to keep pushing us forward.
“The Monaco performance means we come to Canada full of confidence. The 23 points we claimed in Monaco lifted us to fifth place in the championship. I’ve been saying all season that our luck needs to change and I hope that Monaco represents a turning point. We now have some momentum and I believe we can push on and keep racking up the points in the races to come. Montreal should play to our strengths and I’m feeling optimistic that we can get both cars well inside the top ten in qualifying and the race.”
For Perez, the race in Canada represents the possibility of consecutive podium finishes — he logged a third-place finish at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 2012, and said the track is his personal favorite.
“Montreal is one of my favorite circuits: I was on the podium there in 2012; I had one of my best races in 2014 and I feel positive ahead of this year’s race,” he said. “It’s an old school track and, while the layout is much faster than Monaco, it shares some of its characteristics: it’s a circuit that rewards bravery and punishes mistakes, a place where the driver can make a difference.”