Mogyorod (Hungary), July 25 (IANS) Force India drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez will start 11th and 13th in Sunday’s Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix after the two finished qualifying in the same positions at the Hungaroring here on Saturday.
Germany’s Hulkenberg clocked one minute, 23.826 seconds for 11th while Mexican teammate Perez timed 1:24.461 for 13th in Q2, failing to reach Q3 on the 4.3 km circuit.
“It’s been quite a difficult weekend for the team but I have to give credit to the way they have handled the situation and fixed it. The main penalty of yesterday was losing the track time and maybe with more set-up time we would have been able to make it through to Q3 today,” said the German.
“The other key factor in qualifying was the red flag which caught me out because I was on my first quick lap and had to abort it. So I only had one lap to get the job done and I just missed out by two hundredths of a second. Despite the limited track time, I feel quite happy and confident in the car and we can perform well. Points are still an achievable target.”
Perez said: “It hasn’t been the easiest of weekends so far. I was very optimistic on Friday before the accident but what happened has affected us quite a lot. We have lost some of the new upgrades that we had brought to the race – parts that were working really well and were making a big difference.
“When we got back out on track this morning, I wasn’t particularly happy with the aero balance of the car which has been quite unpredictable. Hopefully, looking at the data tonight will help us figure out a way to fix it ahead of the race. Despite these challenges, I am still optimistic we can have a good race and fight our way into the points.”
Mercedes driver and reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton took pole in 1:22.020 ahead of his teammate and rival Nico Rosberg. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel will start third.
In the drivers’ standings, Hulkenberg is ninth with 24 points, nine ahead of 12th placed Perez. In the constructors’ championship, Force India are fifth on 39 points.