Formula 1 - Force India thought it would win

The Force India Formula 1 team believed it was set to win the Canadian Grand Prix before the brake problems that hampered Sergio Perez near the end.

Formula 1 - Force India thought it would win

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Force India Formula One driver Sergio Perez of Mexico (L) climbs out from his car after crashing during the Canadian F1 Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal June 8, 2014 (Reuters)

With its car better able to look after its tyres than its rivals, Force India opted to put both Perez and Nico Hulkenberg onto a one-stop strategy.

That decision helped them move up the field, and meant that Perez was at the head of the chasing pack when race leader Nico Rosberg slowed in the second half of the race.

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When asked if there was a moment when Force India thought it could triumph, COO Otmar Szafnauer said: "Yes. When both Mercedes came on the radio and said they were having problems, we thought we were going to win this thing.

"The first thing we did was get on to the Mercedes engineers to understand if we could have the same issue, and they said we are OK, our guys said no issue, keep going. We were optimistic when we heard that."

But although Perez could get close to Rosberg he could not find a way past, and in the end lost out to Red Bull duo Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel thanks to brake problems.

His race eventually ended after a controversial collision with Felipe Massa at Turn 1 on the final lap.

"About two or three laps before the incident [on the final lap], he had a sensor failure which he reset - and resetting it was the issue," said Szafnauer.

"He had the problem and came on the radio and said: 'my brakes, my brakes'. We told him to reset the sensor, and in doing that, the Red Bulls were so close they got past.

"So resetting it was the problem, because when he reset it he was on it again."

Perez was handed a five-place grid penalty for the Austrian GP by the FIA after being blamed for causing the collision with Massa.

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