Sergio Pérez feels optimistic that his Sahara Force India F1 Team can fight at the front of the ‘very close’ midfield this weekend at the Hockenheimring, and he believes he can put his VJM11 into the top ten shootout in Qualifying on Saturday afternoon.
The Mexican felt positive about his Friday performances in Germany as he finished eleventh fastest in both Free Practice sessions, with his best lap of the day, a 1:14.552s coming in the afternoon session, although that was 0.044 seconds adrift of team-mate Esteban Ocon.
Just six-tenths of a second separated seventh to seventeenth in Friday’s afternoon session, with the Haas F1 Team, Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team, Renault Sport Formula One Team, Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda and McLaren F1 Team all showing the same kind of pace, with Force India embroiled right in the middle of that battle.
Pérez says there is more performance to come from the car and hopes that can be unlocked ahead of Saturday’s final free practice session to ensure they come out on top of that midfield scrap, although some of that work could be undone should conditions be cooler than they were on Friday, but despite this he expects a competitive weekend.
“It’s been a positive day,” said Pérez. “We collected a lot of information and I’m happy with how things are going so far. The main conclusion I take from today is that the middle of the grid is very close once again and we will need to optimise everything to make Q3 tomorrow.
“I feel optimistic we can find some more performance tonight and the conditions could change for the weekend – we think it’s going to be a bit cooler and there is talk of some rain.
“There is definitely a good opportunity for us to go well this weekend and be competitive.”