The Racing Point Force India team basked in the limelight at the Belgian Grand Prix today. This time, it was for all the right reasons as Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez locked out the 2nd row. Their brilliant display comes mere days after being rescued from the threat of closure.
The team is now owned by a consortium led by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll. However, they are now considered a new entry and have lost all the constructors’ championship points.
“Not bad for a new entrant,” said team principal Otmar Szafnauer. This was Force India’s best qualifying performance in Belgium since 2009 when Giancarlo Fisichella took pole position.
The Mercedes-powered team looked strong in practice and looks likely to lift themselves off the bottom of the table on Sunday. Ninth-placed Williams seems like an easy picking, having only amassed four points so far.
“It’s awesome to be in P3 (third place) after such a difficult time with the team we had,” French driver Ocon said.
“But now we are starting afresh and definitely happy with that result, third wasn’t expected today. The job did a fantastic guys… the guys did a fantastic job! Sorry, it’s the emotion,” he exclaimed.
Perez had a big moment through Eau Rouge and was lucky not to crash early in the final top 10 shootout in the chaotic conditions.
“So many emotions are going through my head — it has been a really difficult session, which makes the result even sweeter,” said the Mexican. Perez has equalled his best ever grid position in his career.
“It’s a great result for the team – for the new owners, the old ones who built the team to what it is now, and everyone who works so hard every day.”