Perez happy to stay at Force India in 2015

Last Updated: Saturday, July 26, 2014 - 18:32

New Delhi: Mexican Formula 1 driver Sergio Perez says he will be happy to stay at Sahara Force India next year after an "up and down" first half of 2014, during which he managed to achieve the Silverstone squad`s first podium in five years.

Retirements and a heavy last lap accident in Canada meant that Perez could score in six out of 10 rounds this season, while his German teammate Nico Hulkenberg is the only one alongside Ferrari`s Fernando Alonso to have scored in every race so far.

Speaking ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix, the end of which marks the one-month mid-season break, Perez felt it was a mixed first-half for Force India.

"It has been an up and down first season for me with Force India. Getting a podium (third place) for the team in Bahrain was the highlight of course and the lows were not able to finish the race from points scoring position," Perez, who moved to Force India from McLaren, told PTI ahead of the race at Hungaroring on Sunday.

The drivers` line-up talks for next season have already begun in the paddock. Force India team principal Vijay Mallya said in Hungary yesterday that "I am very happy with both of them (Perez and Hulkenberg) and I see no reason why we should be looking at any change (for 2015)."

Asked about his future at Force India, Perez, who compliments his driving skills with substantial sponsorship from Mexico, said, "I see no reason why I should be looking at a change. The team is hungry for success and it is the same for me as well. I hope things will be clearer in the next couple of months."

"Checo" admitted there has been a drop in performance since Silverstone and said they must go into the break on a high.

"We have slipped a little in the championship in the last three, four races and that is why it is important we finish well in Hungary," he said.

The Vijay Mallya-led outfit has slipped to fifth in the standings on 98 points, largely due to the Williams surge which has seen the Grove-based team notch up three podiums in the last three races. McLaren are chasing Force India fast and are just two points behind on sixth.

Perez said the lack of rear-grip continues to slow the car down, hurting them the most in qualifying.

"The rear-end of the car has been our weakness all along. We need to keep pushing for now and in the break we can analyse better where and how we can improve. We need to stay competitive in the championship and it is a challenge to stop McLaren," said the 24-year-old.

What does he think about his battle with his teammate?

"Nico has been consistent throughout. As I said earlier, I have been unfortunate on some occasions and there is nothing I can do about that. Hopefully, I will contribute more in the second half of the season."

Perez signed off by expressing his delight at the confirmation of Mexican Grand Prix return in 2015 after 23 years.

"I am really enthusiastic and I am sure you are all going to be surprised as to how well we can do this kind of event."

PTI

First Published: Saturday, July 26, 2014 - 18:32

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