Sergio Perez says he is excited by the plans Lawrence Stroll has for Racing Point following a turbulent season for the team.
Force India went into administration in July and the assets were purchased by a Stroll-led consortium, being re-entered as Racing Point Force India. While a final new team identity has yet to be unveiled, the team has increased funds and Perez is enthused by the potential opportunities the additional resources open up.
“I’m extremely excited,” Perez said. “I’ve been chatting with the whole team, from mechanics to engineers to catering, everyone is really excited, really looking forward. Lawrence is very enthusiastic about this project, he knows that it’s a long-term project, and I think we have great direction with our team bosses.
“Everything should be in place just to expand. But also we have to be aware that it takes time. You’ve seen it with other teams, you know how long it takes them. But I think if there’s a team that can go to the next step, it is Force India.”
Although the takeover took place nearly six months ago, Perez has warned against expecting instant major gains in 2019, but says the team should aim to make steady progress towards the top three of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull.
“That’s the target,” he said. “It takes time, we are very far from the top three teams in terms of pace, but that’s the target, to try to move as close as possible. It’s not going to happen from night to day, but that is the target that’s in the back of our minds and we want to bring it a lot closer, and try to be fighting as soon as possible in the top three teams.”
Perez says the change in future outlook for the team makes it a viable place for him to remain in the long-term, having already raced for Force India for five seasons.
“We’ll see how this team goes,” he said. “I’ve been here a lot more years than I thought I was going to be. I’m comfortable here, I’m very optimistic. I think if you cannot be in a Ferrari or a Mercedes, Force India is a great place to be. I think definitely there is huge potential in the team.
“I’ve been best of the rest for the past two years, very close to being for the third year in a row. So there is the prospect to go forward. We’ll see how things go for next year, but definitely, I’m very excited about the future of this team.”