Sergio Perez believes recent results reflect the strength of the rebranded Force India Formula 1 team, following a two-car appearance in the top 10 at the Italian Grand Prix.

The Silverstone-based squad had to resubmit its entry to the 2018 championship following its rescue from administration, resulting in the team forfeiting the 59 points it had scored from the opening 12 rounds. But stand-out performances at Spa and Monza have lifted Force India back into midfield contention in the F1 teams' standings.

Italian GP - Driver Ratings

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Esteban Ocon and Perez finished seventh and eighth respectively on the road in Italy, but each gained a further position after Romain Grosjean was disqualified post-race with the floor on his Haas car deemed illegal by the FIA.

Perez recovered from opening lap contact with Haas’ Kevin Magnussen to help the team secure its latest double points finish, despite battling significant understeer throughout due to damage picked up in the clash.

The revised result means Force India has leapfrogged Toro Rosso into seventh place in the constructors’ championship on 32 points.

“I am happy to come away from here with points, especially considering we were starting pretty far back on the grid,” Perez said. “Unfortunately, I had to carry really big damage for the whole of the race.

“I was in a battle with Kevin [Magnussen] and he cut the chicane twice when I had already passed him. He was not told to give the position back but I managed to get alongside him again at Lesmo.

“He just didn’t give me enough room and put me all the way to the inside. In such a fast corner, there was always going to be contact and it ended up damaging my car badly. I had lots of understeer so it was a very difficult race.

“The results from the last two weeks show how strong this team is,” the Mexican added. “We would be theoretically fourth in the championship and we are scoring good points. In Singapore we will get some upgrades, which hopefully means we can keep performing well in the final few races of the championship.”

Teammate Ocon hopes Force India can harness its recent momentum and continue to perform strongly heading into the flyaway events, beginning with the Singapore Grand Prix in two weeks’ time.

“I’m feeling happy with the result. We were targeting sixth place, but we just didn’t quite have enough pace advantage to make the move on Grosjean. However, seventh and eighth for the team is a great effort,” Ocon said prior to Grosjean’s disqualification.

“I was able to look after my tyres and make them last. I had one realistic opportunity to try and get Grosjean towards the end of the race, but it didn’t work out. I’m pleased we could end the European season with a strong result. We head to the flyaways in good shape and we have good momentum.”

 

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