April 19th, 2014 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - In a thoroughly wet qualifying session for the Chinese Grand Prix, Nico Hulkenberg managed to get his Force India into the top ten, eventually qualifying 8th. Sergio Perez struggled a bit more and could only manage the 16th fastest time.
Hulkenberg was not completely happy with the setup of his car, but was nonetheless pleased to be in the top ten. He said after qualifying:
“A top ten result is always what we are aiming for in qualifying, so from that perspective I am happy to be eighth. It was very wet out there and I was struggling a bit with the car balance under braking, but all in all I think we're in a good starting position for the race."
Looking forward to the race, Hulkenberg is optimistic of a strong result. He said, "Tomorrow's weather should improve and we ran in the dry yesterday so we know what to expect and will adapt to any conditions. It will be interesting to see the tyre development through the race because graining is a classic feature of this track, but I’m confident we can work around it and make the tyres last.”
For Sergio Perez, qualifying did not go according to plan. Perez finished on the podium at the last race in Bahrain, which will make his 16th position grid slot all the more disappointing for the Mexican. Nonetheless, he has a quick car that is powered by the dominant Mercedes power-unit, and should therefore have a good chance of making up places during the race. Pereze said after qualifying:
"It was not an easy session and the truth is that I’ve been struggling with the car balance all weekend. I think the wet weather today exaggerated those issues and it leaves me P16 and feeling a bit disappointed. I found it hard to generate enough temperature in my tyres and I was sliding around in each corner and especially under braking.
"The weather is expected to be better tomorrow so I am sure we can recover some ground and move up into the fight for points.”