Sergio Perez admits it will be a 'painful year' if the already delayed update to the Force India VJM08 doesn't prove competitive, with the Mexican predicting a tough experience in the meantime.

Both Perez and team-mate Nico Hulkenberg have already signalled pessimism for the upcoming events as they wait for desired upgrades to be included on the VJM08, though the planned improvements have already been put back from round five in Spain to round eight in Austria.

With almost half of the season set to have been completed before the upgrades come, Perez admits it is difficult to remain motivated in a car that he says is currently 'fighting for the last positions'.

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"It is really hard to keep motivated. Going into a race and knowing it is going to be very hard without any advantage is not the easiest as a driver, but you have to be professional and do the job as if you were going to win the race."

"It is frustrating knowing we don't have a competitive car that can take us into the points on pure pace. It's really hard, but it doesn't really change anything as a driver. You have to give it your best possible shot weekend after weekend.

"You are in a position where it's very easy to make mistakes, to lose the car as the car is very difficult with degradation and stuff. From now on we are going to have hard races, but it is what it is at the moment."

"We're already fighting for the last positions, but who knows what can happen in any race and whether we can make it into the points."

Worse still, Perez says that if the planned updates don't bring the car up to a competitive speed, his season will descend into a 'painful year'.

"If we make a proper step then we can still have a good year but there will be plenty of races to go after that, a lot of time to recovery, but if we don't make the step we're hoping for then it's going to be a very painful year."