Sergio Perez feels if Force India can once again extract the maximum from its performance and results in 2017 ahead of the technical regulations revamp in F1 it can target the top three in the world constructors' championship.
Force India is celebrating its best-ever F1 campaign after finishing fourth in the teams' standings, above the likes of Williams and McLaren, while Perez enjoyed his most successful season in the sport by finishing seventh in the drivers' championship with the highlight of rostrum results in Monaco and Baku.
What made the Silverstone-based team's 2016 even more impressive was recovering from early season struggles when it only collected one points finish between Perez and team-mate Nico Hulkenberg over the opening three races.
Aiming to build upon the success of this season, Perez believes if he and Force India can repeat its performance gains into 2017 by taking advantage of the aerodynamic regulations changes and wider Pirelli tyres, the team can target challenging the likes of Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes for a place at the sport's top table.
“I think next year is our big opportunity to keep over achieving,” Perex said. “To move forward with the rule changes is our big opportunity to try and get in that top three at the end of the year.
“I see good potential, good people, the budget is quite good for next year in terms of what we can do with upgrades. We are not in position of the big teams but I see good potential. If we get it right we can be in the top three fight.
“I think as always we are a small team so we have to get it right but we have shown this year that there was potential from the beginning. It is important to have potential in the car and make sure throughout the year that you explore the best from your car.”
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Perez will be joined by the inexperienced Esteban Ocon at Force India next year, with Hulkenberg heading to Renault, but the Mexican feels the young French driver will be able to instantly produce results to help push the team forward.
“The team went for the best possible driver that they could get,” he said. “Everyone is happy to have Esteban for next year so let's hope we can deliver many points to the team.”
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