Perez: Force India can fight for top-three finish in 2017

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Sergio Perez is confident Force India’s “good potential” can elevate the Silverstone-base outfit in the top three in the 2017 Formula One Constructors’ championship.

After sealing a best-ever result of fifth place in 2015, Force India is about to go one better this year, as it enters the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 27 points clear of its nearest rival Williams.

Although Force India does not boast the same financial might as the likes of Mercedes, Red Bull, or Ferrari, Perez feels next year’s regulation overhaul can boost his team’s prospects.

“To move forward with the rule changes is our biggest opportunity, to try to get into the top three at the end of the year” the Mexican said.

“Every year, we have been moving so I see good potential, good people. The budget is quite good for next year with what we can do in terms of upgrades.

“We are not in the position of the big teams, but I see good potential.

"We are a small team, so we have to make sure we get it right. We have shown this year we did, but there was still potential from the beginning.

“If we get it right next year, we can definitely be in the top-three fight.”

Perez came close to leaving Force India over the summer, and it is believed the 26-year-old was on his way to Renault until he and his Mexican backers got cold feet over a perceived lack of leadership within the French manufacturer’s works outfit.

Perez will be partnered by Manor rookie and Mercedes protégé Esteban Ocon, who has signed a multi-year deal with Force India.

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