Force India goes for aggressive low-drag race set-up

Force India opted for an optimised top speed set-up for its Mercedes-powered VJM10 in qualifying, believing the aggressive strategy will prove fruitful on Sunday.

Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon were flying up the hill towards Les Combes on Saturday as a result of their car’s trimmed aero.

The specific low-drag settings demand the drivers work overtime in the fast sector 2 sweeps however, but Force India’s Otmar Szafnauer believes the configuration represents the best compromise for tomorrow’s race. 

“We achieved the objective of getting both cars inside the top ten, which sets us up nicely for a strong race tomorrow,” said Szafnauer.

“I don’t think our final laps in Q3 were optimal and there was a bit more potential in the car, but the important thing is that we are well placed to score good points.

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“We’ve focussed on setting the car up to race well and hopefully that will pay dividends tomorrow.” 

Sergio Perez also believes the team has made the right set-up choice.

“I think this is the way forwards for us. That’s definitely good for us,” said the Mexican.

“It’s been tough [in Sector 2], especially with the amount of sliding that we’re carrying. We’re carrying too much sliding there and we’re on the limit.

“If you get one corner wrong, then you lose quite a bit of load and a bit of grip from the tyre. It’s been quite easy to slide the tyre in sector two.

“I think we’ve got the right setup for the race tomorrow. I was more concerned for qualy, but for the race we should be quite strong tomorrow.”

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