Monza: Capitalising on a top-10 start, Sergio Perez finished seventh to secure six points for Sahara Force India at the Italian Grand Prix as the team reduced the gap with fifth-placed McLaren to just one, on Sunday.
Nico Hulkenberg, who started 13th on grid, could gain only a place in the 53-lap race to finish outside the points bracket.
Perez had originally finished eighth but was promoted following a five-second penalty to McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen, who dropped to 10th. Magnussen carried the penalty from the last race in Belgium.
Jenson Button finished just ahead of Perez in the second McLaren to earn four points for his side, taking their tally to 110.
“The most important part of the race was the fight I had with Jenson, which was really nice and reminded me of the old days. I know he is a driver that you can fight really hard and it’s always clean. At the end of the race with Kevin, I knew he had a penalty and there was no need to attack him. It meant I could focus on keeping Jenson behind me, which was not easy,” Perez said.
Hulkenberg said,”It wasn’t a very busy race for me. I was racing alone most of the time and just doing my own race: not being towed around or benefiting from DRS made it a bit harder.”
“I had a very good start, especially considering I was on the hard tyre, but I lost contact with the cars ahead of me quite soon because they were on the medium and I didn’t really have the same pace. It was quite difficult to manage the car, especially the rear end: I had some oversteering and it was tricky to drive. I pitted quite early as I wasn’t going anywhere on my hard tyres and we saw a good opportunity to jump people, but we still found it difficult to deal with the balance,” the German added.