Force India will be one of the key teams to watch across Formula 1’s final nine races of the season, with plenty to prove on-track. The compact Silverstone squad has had nine double points finishes in the first 11 races, with an average of just over nine points scored per race.
…the only dips in performance – Monaco – where Esteban Ocon suffered a puncture and Sergio Pérez clashed with Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz on Lap 1 – forcing both into the pits, and out of points contention.
… while Pérez retired in Azerbaijan, after contact with Ocon.
The Mexican remains the top man at Force India having outqualified Ocon 9-2 in the first 11 races. Pérez has also outraced him, finishing ahead 8-2, when they could be compared – and scored 11 more points.
That’s as convincing as it gets in Pérez’s favour, but things are expected to slowly shift toward the underrated Frenchman in the last nine races.
And Ocon remains cool under pressure, having finished all 20 of his races run so far – dating back to Belgium last year.
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) ESTEBAN OCON, F1 DRIVER, FORCE INDIA:
“I’ve no pressure. I think when you go in an exam and you know you have revised before, and you know your subject, you are not stressed. So that’s how I feel a little bit.”
The 20-year old also has more points finishes to his record than any driver who is outside the top-three, highlighting his consistency. But Ocon has a lot to prove – and Pérez is not about to give up his de facto lead role.
SOUNDBITE (English) SERGIO PÉREZ, F1 DRIVER, FORCE INDIA:
“I think the leader of the team is the one that gets the best results. And I’ve been the one who got the best results in the past, in the past couple of years.”
The Force India battle ahead should be very exciting. It’s gloves off.