Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley says he is "very pleased" with how the team's driver pairing has performed during pre-season testing.

Having run Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil in 2013, Force India has changed both drivers for the first time in its history by signing Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez for the new season. Speaking exclusively to Crash.net, Fernley said the way both excelled during pre-season testing has given him confidence going in to the first race in Australia.

"I've been very pleased," Fernley said. "Nico is not new to us so obviously with him coming back home if you like to a degree, that's been very easy because he's already integrated in to the team anyway.

Related Articles

"Sergio has blended in perfectly. He was very comfortable and relaxed; he went through a bit of a tough time in the first two test but he dealt with it very professionally. Then he had two super days [at the final test] where he delivered and his spirits are very high. His objectives are going to be up there I think to deliver."

With Fernley predicting that Force India will be in the mix for podiums this year, he also said he feels the team has the structure to keep up the rate of development to be competitive all season.

"I think we've got it in place. We've proved over the last three or four years that we've consistently been the best of the rest if you like. We've delivered that sixth place more times than we haven't, and that generally gives you the feeling that the structure is in place it's just a case of making the next step. The next step for us had the regulations stayed their way would have been a massive aero step, but as it happens it's a massive engine step. Which obviously fits in a little easier for us with our resources!"