Williams F1 team 'too far ahead' in midfield battle, Perez says

Williams is "too far ahead" in the midfield battle at the start of the Formula 1 season, says Force India driver Sergio Perez

Williams F1 team 'too far ahead' in midfield battle, Perez says

Despite being one of the slower teams in the Australian Grand Prix, Force India managed to get both drivers in the points with Perez finishing seventh and Esteban Ocon scoring for the first time in F1 in 10th.

GARY ANDERSON: How F1's new regulations have spread the field

Perez finished the race one spot behind Williams's Felipe Massa, but could not join Massa in staying on the lead lap.

In terms of performance, the team has fallen away more than any other in the off-season.

Comparing the fastest lap from each team over a race weekend, Force India has slipped from 101.552% relative to the outright pacesetter to 103.449% in Melbourne, where it was slower than all F1 teams bar McLaren and Sauber.

"I think Williams is too far ahead at the moment," said Perez.

"Toro Rosso was quicker than us, Haas was quicker than us - so to beat them on track with strategy, the team can be very happy with that.

"I think we came with more than we thought, more than the car's pace deserved.

"As a team we did a perfect weekend and I'm very pleased with that."

The heavy VJM10 has led to Perez going on a crash diet in a bid to lower the overall weight of the car and driver.

Perez reckoned he and Ocon were able to compensate for a lack of car performance in Melbourne and admitted the team needs to improve its car sooner rather than later.

"I think Melbourne is a track where a driver can make more of a difference," said Perez.

"It's very bumpy, a narrow and difficult track. So once we go to a more normal track where the car pace matters more we are going to struggle more.

"We need the upgrades as soon as possible, we need to work hard on the car.

"As we've seen in the past Force India normally doesn't have the greatest starts of season.

"This is probably my best start of a season with the team in my four years, so it's quite encouraging.

"There's still a long way to go but at the moment we are not where we finished [in Australia]."

Perez said in pre-season testing the team had identified "a lot of weaknesses" in the VJM10, and admitted after the first race some of those remained.

"We improved the car from testing, but I think the weaknesses are there," he said.

"We cannot really balance the car, so I think that's what we need to sort out."

shares
comments
Haas Formula 1 boss annoyed by Australian GP missed opportunity

Previous article

Haas Formula 1 boss annoyed by Australian GP missed opportunity

Next article

Formula 1 too complex, expensive and reliable, FIA boss Todt feels

Formula 1 too complex, expensive and reliable, FIA boss Todt feels
Load comments
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Plus

Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates Plus

Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates

For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of “glory” if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1’s other orange army

Formula 1
Sep 12, 2021
The F1 media favourite who lifted a broken Lotus Plus

The F1 media favourite who lifted a broken Lotus

Graham Hill was nearly 30 when he made his Formula 1 debut. NIGEL ROEBUCK examines the life of a gifted racer whose talismanic personality defined an era

Formula 1
Sep 11, 2021