Sergio Perez has called on Force India to 'make a step forward' if it is to build on a solid first-half to the 2014 Formula 1 World Championship season.

The British-based Indian team made a bright start to the 2014 season with Perez securing only the team's second-ever F1 podium at the Bahrain Grand Prix, while team-mate Nico Hulkenberg scored points in each of the opening ten races.

However, while Perez says Force India have done well to maximise its package at every opportunity, he concedes the team is not capable of competing with the likes of Williams and Ferrari as it stands, while fellow Mercedes-powered rivals McLaren have also shown improvements.

Heading into the summer break, Perez has urged Force India to keep up development to avoid it slipping back further, saying it is 'not strong enough' at the moment.

"We are losing ground," the Mexican driver said. "Williams seems to have made a step forward and also Ferrari, so at the moment we are a bit far off. There are good races coming up for us, like Monza and Spa, so we have a good opportunity.

"We have to make a step forward. We know we are not strong enough and we have been very lucky to finish in the places we have been finishing lately. We have to bring some upgrades to the car.

"We are lacking quite a lot of rear-end on the car and the operating window is pretty small. We have improved the car but obviously not enough and a lot of teams have caught us up quickly."

Perez is currently 11th in the drivers' standings, with Force India fifth in the constructors' reckoning, 37 points behind Williams and only one point ahead of McLaren.

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