Sergio Perez has been the star driver of the season outside the “big three” teams and he’s more than confident that the Force India VJM09 can deliver pretty much anywhere.
In the past few years, Force India have gained a reputation for being quick in the speed traps, but following a heavy upgrade in Barcelona, the car has been working well in the slow-mid speed corners too. Force India took a risk with an aggressive upgrade program that allows them to now focus on the 2017 challenger.
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A couple of podiums and a solid points haul later, and the risk appears to have paid out in performance. The most significant result for Force India has to be the podium in Monaco for Checo. The Mexican did something different with his tyres again but ultimately, the upgraded VJM09’s pace was there, on a circuit that shouldn’t have been strong for the team.
Ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix, Perez firmly believes anything can happen, he said,
“We have been strong in the last few races, but after some very fast tracks like Austria and Silverstone we head to the Hungaroring, which is the complete opposite to them..
It’s a track with few overtaking opportunities so qualifying is important. It’s probably the second most important race for track position after Monaco. I think it will be a challenging weekend, but we know we can be competitive on every track.”
– Sergio Perez
Qualifying will be more significant than usual given the parallels to Monaco with overtaking, and whichever Force India starts ahead in qualifying will determine which of them will lead to overall qualifying head-tohead, which stands at five-a-piece. Hulkenberg will be looking for a result over Perez too, who is emerging as the more dominant driver in 2016.