Sergio Perez was delighted to have achieved Force India’s best qualifying position of the season in Abu Dhabi, but concedes it will be difficult to keep some “very quick cars behind” on Sunday.
The Mexican impressed in practice throughout the weekend at the Yas Marina Street Circuit and he was third fastest behind the Mercedes drivers in Q1, Q2 and the initial run in Q3.
However, Kimi Raikkonen in the Ferrari beat him to P3 on the final run, but fourth place is still Force India’s best starting position this campaign.
“Fourth place on the grid is a great result for us and I’m very pleased with our strong performance all the way through qualifying,” he said.
“We’ve made some good decisions this weekend with the changes we have made to the car and it’s taken us in a very positive direction.
“I think the analysis we carried out after the weekend in Sao Paulo has really paid off and we’ve learned a huge amount. All of my laps this evening were very clean and tidy, and we managed to get the maximum from the car.”
Perez will start ahead of both Red Bulls, both Williams cars as well as Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari on Sunday and he knows he will have a fight on his hands to stay P4.
“The challenge tomorrow will be keeping some very quick cars behind me, but I also think we have a good chance to make up some positions at the start,” he said.
“I have the confidence in the car to really push and there is definitely the potential to come away with a great result this weekend. In many ways it’s a shame that tomorrow is the final race of the season because the car is working very well at the moment and I’m enjoying the racing so much.”