Formula 1

Sergio Perez says VJM10 improvements are needed quickly

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World © Octane Photographic Ltd. Formula 1 - Winter Test 2. Sergio Perez - Sahara Force India VJM10. Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Wednesday 8th March 2017. Digital Ref: 1785LB1D3932

Sahara Force India F1 Team driver Sergio Perez has indicated that the squad have run into some issues with the VJM10, that he hopes can be resolved quickly.

The Mexican confirmed to media yesterday, that the Silverstone based squad had so far been unable to complete their scheduled test programme due to a number of factors, which have hampered the teams running.

On Wednesday, Perez was two seconds off the pace of the lead-time, which put him down in eighth position, and although Force India have managed to complete a good number of laps, they are still some way off the amount of mileage put in by the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team and Scuderia Ferrari.

The Mexican remains optimistic about being able to improve ahead of the new season, however.

“We had a lot of interruptions. Once with an early brake failure and then a couple of red flags, which [meant] we didn’t quite get our programme done, but I think we’re learning. We learned a lot once again.

“I think today the team has found a lot of the weaknesses that we have with the car, which is quite critical, and I think it’s just a matter of time before we sort them out, because I think it is quite easy to sort those issues.”

Having achieved his best ever position of seventh in the drivers’ championship in 2016, whilst Force India similarly did the same by ending the season in fourth place, Perez is looking to at least match that performance this year, and feels it is hard to say where they currently stand in relation to the rest of the teams.

“I’m optimistic. As always, it’s not important where you are in testing in Barcelona, it’s where you end up in Abu Dhabi, the last race.

“So very optimistic for the season and still a long way to go. I think tomorrow with Esteban [Ocon] and obviously with me in the final day we will have a lot of idea on where we stand.”

Perez is confident all their pre-season issues can be resolved, but advised they might not be completely ready by the first round of the 2017 Formula 1 championship in Australia, which begins on March 24.

“Obviously the team is pushing very hard to try to get some upgrades for Australia. Especially those upgrades, which are probably easy to fix, but it just takes time.

“So hopefully we can fix most of them for Melbourne and, if not, by second or third race we should be already on a good level.”

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