Sergio Perez, Force India, Circuit de Catalunya, 2018

Perez hoping Force India’s Melbourne upgrade will “improve the car massively”

2018 F1 season

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Sergio Perez says he hasn’t felt a big step in performance “so far” from Force India’s VJM11 but has high hopes for the team’s Melbourne upgrade.

“Hopefully for Melbourne when we bring our new car, apparently, hopefully we can do a good step,” he told media including RaceFans after today’s test.

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2018
2018 pre-season testing day five in pictures
Asked what kind of feeling he had from his car after the fifth day of pre-season testing Perez said “it’s not great at the moment but I think we’ve done a good step forwards.”

“There is a lot of understanding that has to be made on the car,” he added. “There is a strong package coming for Melbourne that will improve the car massively.”

Force India is facing the threat of stronger midfield competition in 2018 and has covered the lowest mileage of all the teams in testing so far. But Perez believes the team will reach a competitive position.

“We’re going to be there,” he said. “It’s a long season. It doesn’t matter where you are right now, today, or in Melbourne. The only thing that matters is where you are in Abu Dhabi.”

Perez lost some time with “an off” early in today’s test. “We had to take the floor out,” we lost a bit of time,” he explained.

“Then it was our programme, we managed to complete part of it. I think it’s been a very positive day in terms of what we’ve done. what we’ve learned and just gathering data.”

With only one day left in the car before the season-opening race in Australia, Perez said his focus is working on Pirelli’s new range of tyres.

“Hopefully we can have a warmer day,” he said. “I’m really curious about the long run, the new tyres. I think there’s a lot to be gained early in the season by understanding properly the tyres.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 9 comments on “Perez hoping Force India’s Melbourne upgrade will “improve the car massively””

    1. I predict they’re going to finish 7th in the Constructors’ Championship.

      1. Very skeptical about Force India’s performance this year. An upgrade in the first race could go either way. It could eventually jeopardize their performance for the whole season.
        Its too early to make this call now but looking at the times (without the upgrade), may be not 7th, but 4th looks out of their reach. Hard to imagine how the upgrade could bring about a significant difference to lap times.

    2. The points available to win in Abu Dhabi are the same as in Melbourne, I’ve never understood drivers who want the car to be at its best by the end of the season.

      1. @emu55 Steven, you read that one bit wrong. He is talking about accumulating points through the season and at the end of it at Abu Dhabi, where and if you still score can make a difference in where you stand on the championship tables (Renault is a good example from last year).

    3. Force India has problems in pre-season testing almost every year, people talk down their chances every year, and then they end up getting P4 or P5 anyway.

      1. Vettel fan 17 (@)
        6th March 2018, 21:15

        That’s so true. Struggled last year with weight and still finished fourth. Struggled at the start of 2016, still finished fourth. At worst I would say they would finish sixth.

      2. Because they actually have good drivers!

        My prediction is that the Williams will be the faster car this year (various technical analysis show a lot of evolution and Paddy has brought concepts from Merc) BUT, FI will still finish ahead. Should be the kick in the teeth Williams need to sort a proper driver lineup.

    4. The underdogs.
      FI have always had problems during test and come up trumps during the races. Every year looks different and so does this one on the onset. You have a resurgence of Renault F1 Team on the cards, and McLaren with new PU hoping to take as many points as they can in the midfield. Williams may come up with a better performance car gap than from last year, and that could mix up a lot of things.

      If FI manage to keep pushing, then they can be good contenders for 4th or 5th this season.

    5. The competition for the 4th spot in constructors’ championship is really the only interesting battle this year. We have mclaren, renault and force india ferociously competing for that spot and with some luck you may even get haas and williams to join in. It is interesting to see if mclaren gets it or whether force india can resist and fight the big boys. Renault is improving every year and if they do well they can do it too.

    Comments are closed.