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Force India pair to make the most of grid position bonus

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Force India's drivers Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez are two happy beneficiaries of the grid penalties affecting two drivers who qualified ahead of the pink pair.

Both Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen will be demoted five spots tomorrow following gearbox replacements at Mercedes and Ferrari, a state of affairs which Force India's drivers will be more than happy to try and capitalise on.

"We'll push for it, we don't want to fall off," said Ocon who ended qualifying P7 on the time-sheet.

"It's not going to be easy to keep that position but we definitely want to do that.

"It's not an easy track to overtake, and we saw that Raikkonen struggled to overtake me in Monza, so hopefully we can keep that and score good points."

The Frenchman praised his car's performance since taking to the track yesterday morning, regardless of the conditions.

"The car has been fantastic since the beginning of the weekend, just as it was in Malaysia, and our result today shows the progress we have made recently developing the car.

"Whether it’s been wet or dry, the car has been quick, and we’ve only had to make small adjustments to find the performance.

"There’s a great opportunity to score some big points."

Sergio Perez was 0.149s adrift from his team mate but feels equally bullish about the team's prospects, especially with the added bonus of its improved starting position.

"We have a great starting position and we have everything to move forward tomorrow," said Perez.

"The team did a great job despite the limited running, splitting the practice programme between both cars to find the best set-up.

"I believe we maximised the potential of the car and got the best result we could today, so I am happy.

"My final lap in Q3 was good: I lost a little bit of time in the final chicane and that cost me a place to Esteban. "

The fierce intra-team battle between Ocon and Perez will resume tomorrow when the lights go off but the Mexican hailed his team mate's performance.

"He’s done a really good job all weekend and together we have delivered an important qualifying result for the team.

"We were expecting a bigger fight in the midfield, but I am pleased we were this far ahead of our rivals and close to the Red Bulls.

"Tomorrow will be a long race but I think we can score a lot of points because our race pace is good."

Perez also found himself at the center of a complaint filed by Williams' Lance Stroll who said the Mexican had impeded his qualifying run in Q1.

The stewards acknowledged Perez's hindering position on the track but did not hand out a punishment because the Force India's position was a direct result of his interaction with another driver - in this case Pierre Gasly.

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