Perez: Force India behind Toro Rosso, Haas

Date published: March 31 2017 - Editor

With the season-opening Australian Grand Prix have come and gone, Formula 1 finally has an idea as to this season’s pecking order and it is not great reading for Force India.

Although Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon, racing a car that is reportedly 10kgs overweight, both finished inside the points in Melbourne, they at times benefitted from the misfortune of others.

This has led Perez to state that his team are lagging behind both Toro Rosso and Haas, the latter of which suffered a double DNF at the Australian Grand Prix.

Perez, though, was able to beat the Toro Rosso drivers to P7 on the day with Ocon behind them in tenth place.

“Williams is too far ahead at the moment,” Perez said.

“Toro Rosso was quicker than us, Haas was quicker than us, so to beat them on track, to beat them in strategy, the team can be very happy with that.

“As a team we did a perfect weekend, I’m very pleased with that.

“I think Melbourne is a track where a driver can make more of a difference, it is very bumpy and narrow and difficult track.

“So once we go to a more normal track we are going to struggle more. We really need the upgrades as soon as possible.”

He added: “We need to work hard on the car, as we have seen in the past Force India normally doesn’t have the greatest starts to seasons.

“I think this is probably the best start of season in four years. It is quite encouraging, still a long way to go but we know that at the moment we are not where we finished.”

As for his pre-season assessment that Force India have discovered “a lot of weaknesses” in the VJM10, the Mexican driver says the team is already making strides forward.

“We improved the car since testing but I think the weaknesses are there. The rear.

“We cannot really balance the car, we have to carry quite a lot of understeer so that’s what we need to sort out.”