Motorsport Week  |    |   0  |  19 March 2018

Sergio Perez wants to return Force India to F1 podium in 2018

Sergio Perez says he wants to return Force India to the podium positions in Formula 1 this season, having missed out on a top-three finish last year.

Perez took podiums in his first three years with Force India, placing third in Bahrain in 2014, Russia in 2015, and both Monaco and Azerbaijan in 2016.

Force India performed strongly through 2017, retaining fourth in the Constructors’ Championship, via 16 double points finishes, as Perez captured seventh in the Drivers’ standings for a second straight year.

However, Force India missed out on a podium place, with Perez taking a best of fourth in Spain, and the experienced midfielder is hoping to make up for it in 2018.

“You always arrive in Melbourne full of hope,” said Perez, lookin to this weekend's Australian Grand Prix.

“There are lots of unanswered questions and it’s when you really start to understand your competitiveness.

“At the same time, it’s not a typical race because it’s usually quite unpredictable. Often, just finishing the race is the key to getting a good result.

“I feel in good shape and ready for the season to start. I want this to be my best year in Formula 1 and I want to be back on the podium.

“During testing we saw that all the midfield teams are quite close together in terms of performance. I also think the gap to the front of the grid is smaller. Let’s see what happens.”

Team-mate Esteban Ocon scored his first Formula 1 point on his Force India debut 12 months ago and the Frenchman is confident of battling for the top 10 once more.

“I’d like to think we can fight for points in Melbourne,” said Ocon.

“We had a really solid second week of testing in Barcelona. I feel comfortable in the car and it’s very consistent.

“We have new parts coming for the race so hopefully that’s another performance step.”

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