Sergio Perez says it hasn’t been his best season in Formula 1 despite bagging back-to-back fourth places in the World Constructors’ championship for Force India and consecutive seventh places in the drivers’ standings due to the lack of silverware in 2017.

The Mexican driver scored just one point less this year compared to his 2016 haul, with one more race on last season’s calendar, but ended the campaign without a podium finish – his first F1 season without a top three result since his ill-fated switch to McLaren in 2013.

Consequently, Perez feels 2017 wasn’t as successful compared to last season and pinned the blame on Force India team-mate Esteban Ocon for denying him his ‘closest’ shot of a podium when the pair clashed at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix – the Mexican driver’s only race retirement of the season.

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“Last year was a really strong year for me. Not having the podium probably takes away something of the achievement this year,” Perez said. “But at the end of the day I feel I did my job. I brought home a lot of points. We had some ups and downs during the season. I don't think it's my best year with the team, but it's certainly one of them.

“I think Baku I lost a podium there with so many safety cars, I got unlucky there, then the incident with Esteban came. That weekend was the one that was the closest, definitely. If we didn't have a safety car or we didn't have the contact, I should have had a podium there.”

Given his multiple on-track clashes with Ocon during the season, coupled with the rules of engagement installed by Force India when tensions came to a head at the Belgium Grand Prix, Perez felt he should have secured more points as he found himself stuck behind his team-mate in the following races but remained positive at the overall result.

“I think probably we should have plenty more points,” he said. “The team has done an incredible job, it's the second year in a row we've finished fourth. In that regard I think we can be quite happy.

“I think we have maximised the potential in terms of the final result and I think finishing seventh in the championship again is a good achievement. From my side, I think it's pretty much the maximum I could get in terms of positions. So it's been a good year.”