With fresh investment coming in through Lawrence Stroll and co, Sergio Perez feels Racing Point (Force India) is the team to be with if not Mercedes and Ferrari in F1.
Perez was part of the Ferrari academy until the Mexican decided to move to McLaren in 2013 which became a decisive step in his career. After two good years with Sauber, Perez looked in a good shape for a top team slot certainly.
He earned his chance with Woking-based McLaren outfit but the team’s results started to dwindle. The axe fell on Perez only after one year as he found refuge in Force India in 2014. The idea for the Mexican was to find his way back into a top team.
However, the chance hasn’t come and it looks unlikely it will in the future too with him having spent five years with the outfit already and is to start his sixth in 2019. The team though has a new ownership now with hefty sum in terms of investment.
The future plans has instilled confidence in Perez for them to take the eventual step forward and when asked by FormulaRapida.net if he sees his career ending with them – the Mexican sounded very much that is likely to happen.
“We will see how this team goes,” he said. “I have been here for lot more years than I thought it to be. I am comfortable here, I am very optimistic. I think if you cannot be in a Ferrari or Mercedes, Racing Point (Force India) is a great place to be.
“I think definitely, there’s a hugely potential in this team. I have been the best of the rest for the last two years – was very close to be for the third year in a row – so there is a prospects to go forward.
“We will see how things go for next year, I am definitely very excited about the future of this team. I have been charting with very much the whole team from mechanics to engineers, catering and everyone is really excited.
“Lawrence is very enthusiastic about this project, he knows that it is a long term project and I think we have great direction with the team bosses. Everything should be in place just to expand. Also, we have to be aware that it takes time.
“We have seen with other teams how much it took them but I think the team that can go to the next step is Racing Point (Force India).” The team is certainly on an expansion spree with the proposed facility in talks and applications for new personnel also in process.
The biggest hurdle for Racing Point in the last few seasons was bridging the gap to the Top 3 teams. It ended up fourth in 2016 and 2017 and could have taken it in 2018 as well but for the mid-season ownership change.
It still managed to overtake Toro Rosso, Sauber and Williams and were close to chucking McLaren too. With the fresh investment coming in, Perez reiterated that the target remains for them to get the Top 3 teams.
“[Catching] Top 3 is the target,” he said. “It takes time, we are very far from the Top 3 team in terms of pace, but that is the target to try to move up as soon as possible. It is not going to happen from night to day, but that is the target that is in the back of our minds.”