The Mexican entered the current season on the back of his best ever Formula One campaign but scruffy showings in Melbourne and Sakhir meant he saw points go begging on both occasions. Perez claims that Force India’s true potential has been masked by outside factors so far.
“After two disappointing races I want to get my season started properly in Shanghai,” the 26-year-old said. “The results in Australia and Bahrain could have been so much better, but things just didn’t work out for me. That’s part of racing and I know things will turn around soon.
“It was a similar situation as the start of last year before my luck started to change. The atmosphere in the team is still upbeat and everybody is pushing to get more performance from the car. We made a good step in Bahrain with the upgrades so we are definitely moving in the right direction.”
Team-mate Nico Hülkenberg is equally confident that Force India can turn its fortunes around in Shanghai.
“My expectations for this weekend are high and, after the disappointment of Bahrain, I hope we can have a clean race in China,” said the German, who had finished seventh in Melbourne. “There’s good pace in the car and reaching Q3 in Bahrain was proof of that.
“We had to work very hard with the car set-up to find the sweet spot, but we learned a lot of things that will carry over into this weekend.”
Both Force India drivers secured their best results to date in Shanghai two years ago, with Hulkenberg coming home in sixth and Perez finishing ninth at the 2014 Chinese Grand Prix.