Force India seals fourth place
FORCE INDIA SECURED fourth place in the constructors’championship thanks to Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez finishing fifth and seventh respectively.
Ocon qualified sixth, running third in the early stages after capitalising on the Sebastian Vettel/lewis Hamilton clash and jumping Kimi Raikkonen at the start. But a combination of him responding to the pitstops made by Nico Hulkenberg and Perez, who ran behind him, and stopping on lap 20 when the ultra-soft Pirellis still had good pace in them, and the virtual safety car, meant he dropped behind Raikkonen. He was then passed for fourth by Vettel into Turn 1 on lap 57.
Perez was always set to drop behind Raikkonen even without the VSC, which also allowed Lance Stroll to jump him – losses halved thanks to Hulkenberg’s retirement. Vettel passed him for sixth on lap 50.
“Raikkonen was coming up behind us,”said team CEO Otmar Szafnauer.“his team came out of the pitlane with tyres ready to undercut us and I think his instruction was to do the opposite of Ocon. And had we not done it Raikkonen would have pitted, come out in free air and then we pit one lap later because he’s close enough to us and he gets us.”
The result puts Force India 99 points clear of Williams with only 86 available.
Ocon ran as high as third, but dropped to fifth