MELBOURNE: Force India's Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon set the 11th and 14th fastest time in qualifying of the Formula One season-opening Australian Grand Prix here today.
Perez narrowly missed out on Q3 with the best time of 1:25.081 while Ocon, in his first race for the team, was almost half a second slower than his more experienced teammate.
The Mexican, however, was reprimanded by the stewards for not adhering to FIA guidelines.
"The Stewards heard from the driver, Sergio Perez and Team Representative and determined that he did exceed the time specified by the FIA in Event Document 10 by slightly more than 4 seconds and was not impeded by any other driver and therefore was driving unnecessarily slowly in violation of Art. 27.4 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations," read a statement from the stewards.
Force India had a memorable last season when they beat the likes of Williams and McLaren to finish fourth in the team standings for the first time.