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Perez cautious on revised Force India

02 Jul 2015

Sergio Perez has warned that Force India’s upgraded VJM08 is unlikely to be radically faster initially, though both he and the team are extremely optimistic about its longer-term potential. The product of a new aerodynamic philosophy and wind tunnel, the heavily revised car will run for the first time at Silverstone on Friday.

The team have already trialled various parts of the upgrade over previous Grand Prix weekends, as well as in last week’s post-race Austria test, with Perez describing the results as ‘promising’. The Mexican warned, however, that a significant jump forward shouldn’t be expected instantly - particularly as the British circuit does not traditionally play to Force India’s strengths.

“I think the whole team has been waiting so much for this upgrade - it is the first upgrade basically for the year,” Perez said on Thursday ahead of the 2015 Formula 1 British Grand Prix.

“We are all very optimistic. The numbers look promising, but at the same time we are realistic: anyone in the paddock will tell you an upgrade is not just putting it on the car and getting on with it. It needs some processes, some work to get the maximum out of it, and it will take time.

“There are plenty of [new] parts - the floor, some parts of the rear, new wings, even the chassis. It’s all the airflow quality we are trying to improve. I’m sure when you see the cars running you might not recognise it.

“With our original car, we were going to struggle massively here. Don’t forget we come from an engine track, where we see some benefits from having a Mercedes power unit. So here we should see progress, I’m sure about it. But at a track like this, just closing the gap - and fighting with those in front - will be a big step forward.”

Perez noted that getting lots of running on Friday will be crucial to the team’s weekend prospects, saying: “We need mileage to move on - so we will have plenty of work to do on both cars.

“We have to understand the car, the characteristics, how to drive it and how to explore the best in terms of set-up and everything - that is crucial for us.”

Force India lie fifth in the constructors’ standings going into the Silverstone round on 31 points, two ahead of Lotus in sixth, and 24 behind fourth-placed Red Bull.