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Single point finish was 'hard work' for Force India - Szafnauer

© XPB 

Force India put its first point of the season on the board in Bahrain, thanks to the relentless efforts of Esteban Ocon, but it was hard work for the team and its driver.

In a race which never offered a moment of respite, Ocon was hoping for a better result after lining up P8 on the grid. F1's mid-field battle takes no prisoners however, and the Frenchman was fighting and defending left and right from start to finish.

"We had to work very hard to score the final point tonight," admitted Force India COO Otmar Szafnauer.

"Esteban did an excellent job of chasing down Sainz in the final few laps and put significant pressure on him to overtake him and move back into the top ten.

"It was marginal as to whether it would be a one or a two stop race, but I think we called it about right with both cars."

A contact at the start between Sergio Perez and Toro Rosso's Brendon Hartley impacted the Mexican's race from the outset. On the road, Perez was left chasing all evening, and to make matters worse, he was handed a 30-second penalty for overtaking Hartley on the formation lap!

"Sergio’s race was compromised heavily by the contact with Hartley on the opening lap where we were simply the innocent victim.

"There was big contact, which damaged the floor quite significantly and impacted performance. The spin dropped him to the back of the field and a slow puncture forced him to pit early and adopt a two-stop strategy.

"To recover to P12 was a tremendous effort in the circumstances."

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