Sergio Perez believes that fifth place in the Formula 1 constructors’ championship is now the minimum target for Force India following its record 2015 campaign.
Perez led Force India to its highest ever finish in the teams’ standings this year, scoring just the third podium finish its history at the Russian Grand Prix.
Given the financial difficulties faced at the beginning of the year, Force India managed to rally throughout the season and finish as arguably the third-fastest team in Abu Dhabi.
Perez called on the team to push on following its successful campaign, saying that expectations would be high for 2016.
“The important thing is to continue growing as a team,” Perez said. “We showed we can do it this year and I hope it is the sign of things to come in the future.
“The expectations are really high after what we did in 2015: repeating our fifth place must be our minimum target, even though it will not be easy, and we have to aim higher.
“It’s going to take a big effort to do that, and it’s important to be competitive right from the start of the season, in those first rounds where everything can happen.
“There will be a lot of teams out there trying to beat us but I know we can see them off and put a challenge to the ones ahead of us.”
Perez highlighted two stand-out moments in his 2015 season: the podium in Russia and racing in front of his home crowd for the first time at the Mexican Grand Prix in November.
“There are so many memories that will stay with me after 2015,” Perez said. “Surely, the podium in Russia is a big moment, but nothing beats racing in front of my home crowd in Mexico.
“What I felt during the drivers’ parade in Mexico City cannot be put down in words – waving at the fans and feeling all their support was something unlike anything I have ever experienced in my career.”