It was a weekend to forget for Force India in Austria as both Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg failed to see the chequered flag.
Perez was languishing in the midfield when he had a failure at the rear of his car and ended up in the wall. This went largely unnoticed due to the battle between the Mercedes’ of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton taking the attention of the cameras. Meanwhile Hulkenberg struggled with his tyres from the start.
He dropped from P2 on the grid and was hit by graining issues on his tyres almost immediately, before retiring a handful of laps before the end of the race.
This weekend was a large contrast to last time out in Baku where Perez and the team were celebrating a third podium in three races.
There was cause for optimism before the weekend with the upgrades the team made paying off and seeing the team taking podiums. These thoughts were amplified when Hulkenberg qualified third behind the Silver Arrows duo.
He was promoted to second thanks to Rosberg’s gearbox penalty but got a poor start and was overtaken by Jenson Button at turn one. Over the next few laps the Ferrari’s and the Red Bull’s got past Nico, thus the end of his points chances. He retired the car to save the power unit a few laps before the end of the race.
Meanwhile Perez qualified poorly, starting 16th he made his way up the grid and was fighting for points when coming into the last lap he went off into the barriers at turn three. It appeared to be a brake issue as he went straight on and seemed unable to slow his VJM09 down.
Overall not the weekend the team wanted, and with the next race being right in their backyard at Silverstone, they’ll be keen to make sure this is a minor blip in what appears to be the season of resurgence for Force India.