RESULTS: Brazilian Grand Prix – Race results
The Force India pair of Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg have relished in their achievements of a strong double points result at Interlagos to edge closer to taking the team's best-ever finish in the F1 world constructors' championship.
Perez narrowly missed out on holding on to a third podium of the year to Max Verstappen to settle for fourth place while Hulkenberg battled back from an ill-timed puncture while running in fourth to eventually take seventh place.
With fourth place rivals Williams failing to score in Brazil, Force India has moved 27 points clear with just one round remaining. In effect, even if Force India fail to score in Abu Dhabi Williams will need a double top four finish to prevent the Silverstone-based squad recording its highest-ever finish to an F1 campaign.
Perez conceded third place was out of his grasp to a charging Verstappen but knows how vital fourth place is for the team heading towards the season finale in two weeks.
“What a fun but tense race, it's a shame to lose a podium place in the last two laps, but Max [Verstappen] just had a different pace,” Perez said. “He was the fastest on track and there was nothing I could do to keep him behind. Even though I am a bit disappointed, we can still celebrate a great race and an incredible result, especially considering the conditions we had out there today.
“Just getting to the finish line on a day like this feels like a victory, and to bring home fourth is a very important result. It's a big result, not only for me, but also for the team as it brings us important points for the battle for fourth place. A lot can still happen in Abu Dhabi, but we can be happy about this result.”
POINTS: The F1 Drivers' & Constructors' standings after the Brazilian GP
Hulkenberg also felt a potential podium slipped away after picking up a puncture immediately after the first restart which shuffled him down the order but having battled back up to seventh he admitted there were mixed emotions at the finish line.
“That was an intense race and I don't know whether to laugh or cry because I think a possible podium slipped away today,” Hulkenberg said. “I had great confidence in the car, felt comfortable and I had the pace to push and overtake.
“I picked up a puncture from the debris, which was so frustrating because it dropped me down to the back of the field. Without the puncture, who knows where I might have finished? I'm happy and proud of myself and the team. We did a great job but we were just missing a bit of luck.”
Latest Tweets from Crash.net & GPF1rst