Sahara Force India's Nico Hulkenberg ran to a strong fifth place in this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix, after the team adopted a risky approach to pit stop strategy for the race on Sunday.

But the team's second driver Sergio Perez had a miserable time of it, not even making the start of the race after his car suffered a serious of technical issues that left it stuck in gear on his initial way round to the grid.

"I'm disappointed not to have a chance to race today," said the Mexican. "We are still investigating the cause of the problem but the car kept going into neutral when I was downshifting on the way to the grid.

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"I made it back to the garage but we could not find a solution."

"I need to focus on the positives because we learned a lot from the weekend so I hope we can come back stronger in Bahrain," he continued. "It's been a frustrating weekend for me but at least we are racing again in seven days and can look forward to putting the disappointment behind us."

"It was a day of mixed fortunes with Checo unable to start the race," sighed Dr Mallya, Force India's team principal and managing director. "It's important we solve the problem before Bahrain because we had the speed to score good points with both cars today."

Mallya believed that Hulkenberg's success in the race proved what the team was capable at next weekend and beyond in 2014. "On the whole I'm feeling very positive about our performance this weekend and I'm confident we can deliver a similar showing in Bahrain."

Hulkenberg's two-stop strategy saw him run as high as second place on two occasions during the race due to the staggered nature of the pit stops, having started from seventh place on the grid and subsequently never running lower than six all afternoon. He looked set for fourth place until four laps from the end, which saw him overtaken by Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari.

"Alonso was eating me alive but I knew there was no way to keep him at bay," the German admitted after the race. "I was expecting McLaren and more so with Williams that they would be all over me but we performed very well."

Hulkenberg said that the way he'd been welcomed back to Force India at the start of the season was the source of a lot of his success at the moment.

"It's been a really smooth transition - better than I thought to be honest, it helps knowing people and I love the guys," he said. "They all look after me and every now and again I will try to give them points and it seems to work so far.

"The aim in Bahrain must to carry on and get some more points."