Sergio Perez may have finished on the podium at last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix for Force India, but the Mexican has very low expectations entering this weekend’s race after a difficult start of the season for the team.
After encountering financial difficulties that delayed the debut of the new VJM08 car until the final winter test, Force India has scored just seven points in the opening three races of the year.
By this point in 2014, it had 44 points under its belt, with Perez scoring just the second podium finish in the history of the team at the Bahrain Grand Prix after finishing behind the duelling Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
However, Perez knows that a repeat is not on the cards in 2015. Instead, he is hoping to simply run a good race and get his car up into the points.
“Obviously it was great to remember that day,” Perez said, reflecting on last year’s race. “It was a fantastic day, a fantastic race for me.
“It was really difficult to make it onto the podium, as it was a very intense race all the way through. Generally, I have been doing well [here]. The year before I did quite well at this track, so I think I get on with the track quite nicely.
“Unfortunately we are not in a similar position to dream about a podium for this weekend but I think, hopefully, we can score some points and make a great improvement.
“I think we managed to do a good step in China, we just finished out of the points, so I hope that here we can score some points.”
Force India is expected to introduce a raft of upgrades part way through the European season, but Perez is unsure where this will put the team in the pecking order.
“Everyone is improving all the time and everyone is bringing upgrades,” Perez said. “We are not the only ones who are going to bring them but we really have identified our issues with the car, our weaknesses, so in that respect it should put us a lot better.
“I think if we can solve the general issue of the car, the main weakness of the car, then it can be a really good step that can put us in a really good position to be a constant points scorer.”