Sergio Perez believes Force India has made a “good step forward” over the winter, ahead of this weekend’s 2016 season opener in Australia.
The team finished fifth in the championship last year, its best ever position in the standings. Perez feels confident Force India’s VJM09 is a strong improvement and he can score points in Melbourne.
“It feels great to be going racing again,” he said. “Winter has been long and I have been missing the atmosphere you get from a race weekend.
“Going to Melbourne is a great way to start the year and it’s one of my favourite races. Everyone is very friendly and relaxed and I always enjoy those races close to a big city.
“No matter how many laps you do in testing, you never really know where you are compared to the other teams. So I don’t want to say too much.
“As a team we feel quite happy with what we achieved in Barcelona and that’s the main thing. The car has been reliable and we’ve made a good step forward compared to last year. I think we can go to Melbourne knowing that points are achievable.”
His team-mate Nico Hulkenberg added: “The opening race of the season often throws up surprises: anything can happen and we need to put ourselves in a position to make the best of any opportunity that comes our way.”