Fernley hails teamwork after Perez podium

Bob Fernley has heaped praise on Sergio Perez and the Force India pit wall following their podium in Sochi on Sunday.

Perez started seventh on the grid and he was running a solid P5 when the Safety Car was brought out on lap 12 after Romain Grosjean of Lotus crashed into the barriers.

Force India, though, made an instant call to bring Perez in to change to the soft tyres and the Mexican repaid them with a third-place finish behind Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.

“It was a long Safety Car so that helped, but it was marginal,” deputy team principal Fernley told Autosport. “Pitwall and driver, together they did a great job.

“That was teamwork, they are trying to guide him as best as possible within the limitations and Sergio as always delivered a fantastic result.”

The decision to pit their driver under the Safety Car was a risky call from Force India as it meant he had to complete 41 laps on that rubber and, although he was overtaken by Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen on the penultimate lap, he regained P3 after the two Finns collided.

“It was very on edge,” Fernley said of the strategy. “Nobody in front of us followed suit, so it gave us the advantage.

“The core was to look at it from the point of view that it could be an exceptional result or if it went wrong it would probably be a good result.

“Hopefully we can carry it through to a good result in Austin and Mexico.”

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