Sergio Perez is confident that Force India will be quicker in Malaysia than they were at the season-opening Grand Prix in Australia.
The former McLaren driver was awarded the final points-scoring position in Melbourne after Daniel Ricciardo was disqualified, but the Mexican believes he could achieved even better results had it not been for an incident in the opening lap that forced him to the back of the field.
"It was really a shame, we had a good start and a great first few corners, and we were up to tenth place. Then [Esteban] Gutierrez locked his rears and came from nowhere," Perez told crash.net.
"I actually saw him in my mirrors, but I was already turning into the corner. Once he hit me, I was just a passenger; there was not much I could do, I got a puncture and had to pit.
"The safety car helped us and we managed to recover some positions, but the main issue of my race was the time spent behind Adrian [Sutil], which cost me a lot.
"I think the pace was definitely in the car to score more points, but when you have to fight from the back it puts you in a difficult position."
Despite Perez' struggles in Melbourne Force India had a decent weekend in Australia after Nico Hulkenberg was promoted to sixth place, but the Perez believes they will produce even better results if both cars are able to reach the chequered flag unimpeded.
"I think, as a team, we are moving in the right direction and there were lots of positives to take away from Australia," he confirmed.
"It was the first race and we, as everyone else on the grid, are still learning a lot about the new car. We have seen some encouraging signs though, and collected a lot of data that can be put to use for the next few races, starting in Sepang.
"I believe Malaysia can be a very good race for us, so let's see how we can perform there. I think Melbourne was a more difficult one for us and, with a hotter track and more rear tyre degradation for everyone, we can be stronger.
"I'm counting the days to Malaysia to recover what we couldn't achieve in Australia. I have good memories of this track and I want to build on my previous results there."
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