Sergio Perez says Force India should “not get too carried away” after moving ahead of Williams and up to fourth place in the Constructors' Championship following the team's 4-5 finish in the Belgian Grand Prix.
Despite a difficult start, Perez came back through the pack to finish fifth at Spa-Francorchamps, one place behind team-mate Nico Hulkenberg. The result increased Force India's season tally to 103 points, 2 more than Williams.
“Yeah it's definitely a great day for us. We obviously don't need to get too carried away because there is still a long way to go in the season but it's a great result for the team, especially for myself giving how tricky it was after lap 1,” Perez told Sky Sports F1
“It is enormous [for the team to get ahead of Williams]. I think the team has been doing a tremendous job, not only today, but basically since the beginning of the year, really maximising the full potential of the car and I hope that we can keep doing it for the rest of the season,” he continued.
“It would be great to get fourth place but to be honest [as I said] I'm not getting too carried away because there are still many races to go.
“We have to keep pushing very hard and if we can get this fourth place at the end of the year it would be fantastic.”
Perez lost out on the opening lap, when Max Verstappen and the Ferraris clashed at Turn 1, but later recovered, making bold passes on Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso.
Quizzed further on the Massa pass, which resulted in slight contact, Perez added: “This one was my favourite pass [of the race].
“With Felipe, he's a very experienced driver so you can really race hard with him. When I saw the opportunity I went onto the inside and when I saw that I had more grip than him on the outside, I went for it because I had spent a lot of the race behind him, compromising my tyres, so when I saw the opportunity I went for it.”
Pressed on if he was lucky not to be penalised, Perez admitted that on a different day he might have faced the wrath of the stewards, although he insisted his intent wasn't malicious.
“I think those incidents were fair. Sometimes we see a bit of inconsistencies with penalties throughout the year, maybe if this happens at the next race, we might get a penalty. But it's something that is Formula One,” he explained.
“It was just basically on the limit, when you are fighting so hard and it's not that I tried to push him off, I'm just fighting so hard and you can see the manoeuvre with Fernando as well, when I overtook him I nearly went off the track as well. Because you are on the limit with very old tyres, it's not easy to keep the tyres on the track.”