Mallya: Force India’s return to the podium “very satisfying”
It is only the second top three result in the team’s seven-year history. Perez started in fourth and drove a strong race, eventually finishing just half a second ahead of Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull after an intense last lap fight.
It was his first podium since the 2012 Italian Grand Prix. “Today is one of the greatest days in the history of our team,” Mallya said after the race. “It’s been a long time coming, but it’s very satisfying to see Sahara Force India back on the podium after so many near misses in recent years.
“We have a great driver line-up and today we saw both Checo and Nico at their best as they battled for a place on the podium. Without the safety car our two-stop strategies would have been much more comfortable because we faced a strong assault from the Red Bulls in the closing stages.
“Nico did a fantastic job to keep them back for so long and hold on to fifth place. It gave Checo the breathing space he needed to secure third place. So I’m extremely proud of everyone in the team and congratulate all of them on this achievement.
He added: “2014 is a new chance and we have shown we’re moving forward in Australia, Malaysia and here. I couldn’t be happier.”
Nico Hulkenberg’s fifth place finish meant the team ended the race weekend second in the constructors’ standings. Perez said the result was a big confidence boost after a difficult 2013 season with McLaren.
Image courtesy of Sahara Force India F1 Team
Jack Leslie is a freelance motorsport journalist. He has been part of the Richland F1 team since the very start and made his debut in the F1 paddock for the website at the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix. Jack also writes for Car Throttle and RumbleStripNews, as well as running a popular blog.