Force India has ascended to a landmark peak of fourth in the Formula 1 constructors' standings as a fourth and fifth place finish for Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez in the Belgian Grand Prix proved enough to surpass Williams.
Helped in part by early delays for Max Verstappen and both Ferraris, Hulkenberg and Perez showed solid pace all afternoon to end the race as 'best of the rest' behind Nico Rosberg, Daniel Ricciardo and Lewis Hamilton.
Verstappen will cause a massive accident, warns Raikkonen
With the pair accumulating 22 points between – compared with Williams' five -, Force India has leapfrogged its rivals to assume fourth in the standings, though it could have been more had Hulkenberg been able to capitalise on a superb start that had him running second early on.
Well positioned to secure an elusive maiden podium, Hulkenberg found his advantage negated by the red flag stoppage, which allowed Hamilton back into contention. Nevertheless, he was thrilled with the result, his best since the 2013 Korean Grand Prix.
“I had a mega start, a mega first lap. There was a bit of a thingy going on between Max and the Ferraris I believe and I was able to profit from that and found myself in second. On that super-soft tyres it was going actually well, I was behind Nico, he was pulling away from me a little bit but I was pulling away from the people behind me, which was really important at that stage of the race.
Verstappen defends himself - 'It's good TV if somebody is moaning…'
“Unfortunately the red flag came and neutralised the race, which was a bit frustrating at that moment. I would have preferred not to have that red flag but that's racing.”
Latest Tweets from Crash.net & GPF1rst