Nico Hulkenberg finished Sunday’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone in eighth to maintain his record of scoring points in every round of the F1 World Championship so far.
Hulkenberg and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso are the only two drivers to have scored points in every race this year.
The Force India team’s headquarters is located just 500 metres from the main entrance to Silverstone Circuit, and prior to the weekend, hopes had been high for a double point-scoring run from Hulkenberg and his team-mate, Sergio Perez.
Strong qualifying performances in changeable conditions placed Hulkenberg and Perez fourth and seventh on the grid, but as the race progressed, the duo struggled for pace compared to the cars around them.
Hulkenberg said afterwards: “It was quite a tricky afternoon. My start was not great and I lost a couple of places. After that we didn’t seem to have the pace to fight for big points.
“I was struggling with the balance, which may have been related to the wind because it was very gusty out there. I had some good battles, especially in the early laps, but we were just missing the performance to really fight today.
“It’s good to score points, but starting fourth I must admit I was hoping for more in this the team’s home race. We now need to regroup and come back stronger for my home race in Germany.”
Perez, who finished 11th, added: “We can’t really judge what our real pace was because the contact with Jean-Eric Vergne at the start compromised our entire race.
“We dropped down to last and from down there it was very difficult to salvage something from this race. It turned out to be a real disappointment after the good qualifying position we had and I feel that we deserved some points from this weekend. We need to focus on the next race in Germany and I believe Hockenheim will be more suited to our car.”
Vijay Mallya, Force India’s team principal, added: “After such a strong qualifying performance, we were naturally expecting more from today’s race. While circumstances played into our hands during qualifying, in the race we were not so fortunate with Checo’s (Perez) race heavily compromised by the contact with the Toro Rosso on lap one.
“The windy conditions also didn’t help, and appeared to have an impact on our performance. On the positive side we continued our run of points finishes with Nico adding another four points to our tally. It means Nico and the team have scored in every race this season. As we near the halfway point of the season the battle in the championship is closer than ever so it’s important that we respond with a stronger showing in Germany in a couple of weeks’ time.”
The Sahara Force India team are fifth in the Constructors’ Championship, 13 points behind their nearest rivals Williams Martini Racing, and one point ahead of McLaren-Mercedes.
Nine races of the19 2014 events have now taken place and Vijay Mallya adds: “Every points scored counts towards out battle in the Constructors’ Championship. We believe we can finish the season in the top three and that is why we must continue to score as many points as possible in every race this year.”