Despite the team expecting to struggle with pace prior to an upgrade scheduled for Barcelona, Sergio Perez believes that Sahara Force India is “over-delivering” after both cars have made the points in all three of the races this season so far.
Other teams have shown pace in the midfield, but most have failed to make similar gains as Force India in the points table. Esteban Ocon has been consistent with three tenth place finishes, whilst Perez had finished seventh, ninth and seventh.
“I think as a team we are over-delivering massively given where the car performance is at the moment,” he said.
“I think we are taking opportunities from others, from other people getting it wrong. I don’t think the car pace, especially this weekend, has been great.
“I’m sure when I look back at the race simulations we will not be the fifth or the fourth-fastest team. So there’s plenty to improve, and hopefully the next upgrade in Barcelona will move us forward.
“I think Williams and Renault are a bit ahead, Toro Rosso as well, but we were there to take any opportunity. Three consecutive races in the points has been fantastic.”
Double yellow flags in Bahrain left the Mexican eighteenth on the starting grid. Perez explained that he had considered the race to have already been lost but the team never lost their encouragement and enthusiasm, which in the end he credits with his remarkable feat.
“I’m very pleased, especially with the faith that my team showed,” he recalled. “I started in P18, everything was pretty much lost, and in the meeting everyone was pushing as if we were inside the top 10, as if we had good chances. And that made a difference to me.
“It was very tough, starting 18th with no pace, because sometimes you have the pace to go into the points, and this was not one of those races. Looking at my team, they never gave up.
“It showed that you should never give up and always give your maximum. Starting 18th it was important to get through the first lap, which we did in 13th, we already did five places.
“And my 13th race in the points, it’s been an incredible ride, and I look forward to continuing that.”
Bahrain also provided the team with ample data to analyse that will potentially drive them further into the points.
“I struggled all weekend with an issue on the car, which we managed to fix for qualifying, but then we had the yellow flags,” he explained.
“It was a problem with the rear ride height, some of the tools were not doing what we were expecting. That meant I basically lost of rhythm with the car.
“In the race I think the pace was a bit better than expected, so there was plenty to analyse, and plenty to analyse from the upgrade as well.”