Sergio Perez sees the Belgian Grand Prix as the ideal race to reignite the F1 championship after the summer break and is aiming to pick up where Force India left off in its hunt for Williams and fourth in the constructors' standings.
Having been strongly linked to a race seat at Ferrari before the Italian squad opted to retain Kimi Raikkonen
, the Mexican driver has maintained his momentum with consistent points finishes, highlighted by podiums in Monaco and Baku, which have placed him eighth in the drivers' championship.
Looking towards a strong second half of the year, Perez sees Spa-Francorchamps as a circuit which can play to his VJM09's strengths and is certain it will provide an exciting race.
Despite complaints in recent years of F1 not being as thrilling as previous eras, Spa is considered as one of the sport's iconic venues which has hosted some of the best action during the new V6 hybrid era; including Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg clashing in 2014 and Max Verstappen pulling off the pass of the year on Felipe Nasr in 2015.
“Spa is one of the most historical tracks; one of those kids dream about, with legendary corners like Eau Rouge. You never get a boring race there,” Perez said. “There are many fast corners and you pay a price for all mistakes because it's an old-school track with not much run-off.
“It's one of the circuits where the driver can make a difference and bravery is rewarded. I have got some great memories from Spa: I won there in GP2 and I had a battle for the lead against Hamilton on the first lap last year.
“The key to being fast around Spa is having a good rhythm and enough downforce to be quick in the corners without losing too much on the straights. You want to be able to attack and defend in sector one, but not have too little wing to be struggling in the twisty parts of sector two. It's a fine balance you need to strike and it can make or break your weekend.”
12 of the biggest moments in F1 2016 so far
Force India and team principal Vijay Mallya has made its intentions clear that it is targeting fourth in the F1 world constructors' championship having closed to 15 points behind Williams before the break and Perez feels the momentum is currently with the Silverstone-based squad.
“We have been really strong in the last few races before the break and hopefully we can keep this form in the second part of the season,” Perez said. “Being in the battle for fourth place in the championship gives us a lot of motivation and we approach every weekend knowing we can be strong.
“I am enjoying my driving and working with the team, and I think we have everything in place to be competitive this weekend.”
PLAY: Do you know your motorsport video games?