Sergio Perez started the Australian Grand Prix eleventh on the grid but the Sahara Force India F1 Team driver drove a composed race, making some early progress ahead and ultimately finishing seventh.
The Mexican was able to make an aggressive early pass on Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat at the back of the circuit, and later made another move to pass the other Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz Jr, and despite both seeming to have better pace in the latter stages, he was able to maintain his position until the chequered flag.
“I am very pleased with the result and I don’t believe there is anything we could have done better today,” admitted Perez. “Seventh place was the most we could achieve and the team had to make all the right calls to get this result.
“We had the correct strategy and we managed the tyres well to bring the points home. We still had to pull a few big moves on Kvyat and Sainz, even though it was not easy to overtake, but once I was in clean air I felt I was in a very strong position.”
Perez was happy that he was able to push until the chequered flag on the tyres where in previous years he would have been conserving them, and although he knows Force India have work to do to improve their VJM10 it was a positive result for the Silverstone-based team to get both cars inside the top ten.
“Driving these cars is so much fun: you can push a lot harder than in the past and I was doing my fastest laps towards the end of the race,” said Perez. “We know we still need to improve this car and there is more performance to come, but this is a positive start to our season and we can be happy this evening.”