October 27, 2018 / 11:23 PM / a year ago

Force India chose strategy over grid position

Formula One F1 - Mexican Grand Prix - Qualifying Session - Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Mexico City, Mexico - October 27, 2018. Force India's Mexican driver Sergio Perez leaves the pits. Alfredo Estrella/Pool via Reuters

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Force India’s Sergio Perez could have qualified in the top 10 for his home Mexican Grand Prix on Saturday but said he chose not to for strategic reasons.

The Mexican said after qualifying 13th for Sunday’s race that the pace to make it into the final shootout would have been there if the team had used the hypersoft tyres.

However that would have meant starting the race on tyres that degraded quickly in practice rather than the longer lasting ultrasofts.

“Starting on a harder compound should give us an advantage tomorrow; we basically chose a better strategy over grid position,” he said.

“I am confident about our chances tomorrow. We believe our strategy is the correct one and we can move forward in the race.”

French team mate Esteban Ocon will start in 11th place.

“We chose to play the long game in today’s qualifying session being well aware that it’s the final result tomorrow that counts,” said team principal Otmar Szafnauer.

“When the strategies play out tomorrow, we hope to move into the top 10 and score good points.”

Force India are seventh overall and 11 points behind McLaren with three races remaining. McLaren’s Fernando Alonso will start in 12th place.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Greg Stutchbury

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