Sergio Perez admits he had hoped for more from Force India at the start of this season but can “see a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Force India had a fantastic run to the line in 2015 as the team claimed nine points-scoring finishes in succession, including Perez’s podium result at the Russian Grand Prix.
This year, though, has been a very different story.
Perez has yet to get off the mark while his team-mate Nico Hulkenberg has just one top-ten result to his name having finished P7 in Australia.
It was not the start to the season that Perez or Force India had hoped for although the Mexican racer believes they could turn it around this Sunday in China.
He said: “We definitely finished 2015 on a high, although we also shouldn’t be in the position we are in now. We’ve really been unlucky so far.
“Look back at Melbourne: P9 in qualifying with the free tyre choice, and then I had a problem with the start and that put me into a poor position, but we still were en route into the points with both cars when the red flag came – and that was it for me. And Bahrain was simply a terribly unlucky weekend.
“So yes, we are not at the level we were expecting heading into the season – but also when luck turns against you it gets even worse. We should be a lot better than where we are right now.
“But for this weekend – even with dark clouds and rain in the forecast – I see light at the end of the tunnel.
“The season is very long so we have plenty of ways to go. Our season last year started basically at Silverstone with the massive upgrade we brought there – and we finished fifth in the championship.
“This year we’ll bring the upgrade four races earlier – that should play to our advantage. But first and foremost it is always the next race that counts most – and my gut feeling is good.”
Experience the full coverage of the FIA Formula One season throughout 2016 on FOX Sports Play, where you can watch LIVE races from angles unlike any other, highlights, interviews, behind the scenes and many more. Don’t miss it!