Sergio Perez feels if Force India had begun the 2015 Formula 1 season with the B-specification car it could have fought with Red Bull and Williams for a shot at third in the Constructors' championship.
The Mexican and his team-mate Nico Hulkenberg enjoyed a rapid rise in form since receiving the VJM08B chassis halfway through the year at Silverstone and despite a slight hiccup in Hungary, where Hulkenberg suffered a dramatic front wing failure and Perez was forced to retire on safety grounds, the Force India drivers consistently notched up points finishes.
Perez in particular benefitted from the new car with eight top ten finishes in 11 races, including the highlight of third place at the Russian Grand Prix, and his end of season consistency saw him match the results of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and both the Red Bull and Williams drivers.
Based upon his results, Perez feels his team may have had a chance at catching the likes of Red Bull and Williams in the Constructors' championship if they had the B-spec car for the entire season.
Force India missed a chunk of pre-season testing and were forced to start the year with a modified version of its 2015 car due to financial issues.
“I think Williams was generally strong but we would have had a better shot with them and Red Bull,” Perez said. “We spent two races learning about the new specification when you normally have this in winter testing, which wasn't ideal but it is nice to look back and realise that with the tools we were offered we still managed to feel fifth in the championship.
“I am proud of the year and my team. Next year is our big opportunity for the team to move forward.”
With both drivers re-signing with the team for 2016 Perez hopes it can build upon the foundations laid over the second half of 2015 which secured Force India's best ever campaign in F1.
“When you look at what we have done in the second half of the season since the summer break,” he explained. “We have been one of the cars that has scored most of the points, so we could be fourth or fifth if we takes the races after the summer break. I hope we can take the momentum into next year.”