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GP Week : Issue 199
In the end, it was the safety Car which allowed the Red Bulls to close in on the Force India duo – otherwise a strong 3-4 seemed on the cards. Nevertheless, 3-5 was still an impressive demonstration of the Force India package. Team boss Vijay Mallya was overjoyed: “Today is one of the greatest days in the history of our team. It’s been a long time coming, but it’s very satisfying to see Sahara Force India back on the podium after so many near misses in recent years. “We have a great driver line-up and today we saw both Checo and Nico at their best as they battled for a place on the podium. Without the Safety Car our two-stop strategies would have been much more comfortable because we faced a strong assault from the Red Bulls in the closing stages. Nico did a fantastic job to keep them back for so long and hold on to fifth place. It gave Checo the breathing space he needed to secure third place. “So I’m extremely proud of everyone in the team and congratulate all of them on this achievement. 2014 is a new chance and we have shown we're moving for ward in Australia, Malaysia and here. I couldn't be happier." For his part, Perez’s delight was easy to see: “This podium is an amazing achievement and one of the most special results in my whole career. This is a massive confidence boost, especially after the very hard season I had last year, and it was the hardest-fought podium I ever had. “It was an amazing feeling to cross the line because the last few laps were very difficult. IhadtokeepupthepaceandIknewtheRed Bulls were coming. In the end we managed to stay ahead and score this very special result in only my third race with the team. “I also had a great fight with my teammate during the whole race. When he got ahead of me after the first stop, I tried to keep my head down to get back ahead. I managed to do that when we were fighting with the Williams and that was the crucial moment." The Force(fullness) is with Sergio Perez's pass on Hulkenberg wasn't quite as gentlemanly as they suggested, as the Mexican looked to chase down Jenson Button 30 GPWEEK.com // 30 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> BAHRAIN PARTNERS: