Force India only launched its new car - the VJM08 - during the final pre-season test, with less than three days of track running possible. While the car proved to be reliable, Perez says he is expecting the first four races to be tough before the team can update it in Barcelona.
“What we do know is we are not where we were expecting to be in terms of pace for the first race,” Perez said. “But we’ve got to look forward and the whole team is working well together. It is going to be a painful start to the year but I am sure we will get to where we want to be very soon.”
Asked if scoring a point would be a possibility in Melbourne, Perez replied: “I think that would be a mega job from anyone.
“Considering where the car is but in Melbourne you never know what can happen. I think purely with pace that would not really be possible but we will try with the strategy and we will try other things, but who knows? Anything can happen here in Melbourne, we just have to be there to take any opportunity that is offered to us.
“We have the best engine at the moment so in that respect we should have some advantage from that one. But I think the team is just working very hard to bring the parts that we really need for the season.”
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