Motor racing: Perez expects best season with new-look Force India

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 21, 2015 12:16 PM

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Force India revealed an aggressive new look for the 2015 Formula One season on Wednesday with Mexican driver Sergio Perez telling his compatriots he expected his best season yet.

In a livery presentation at Mexico City's Soumaya museum streamed online, the team revealed a mostly silver and black car with orange side streaks and a smoother, more attractive nose.

The Mercedes-powered VJM08 car, with a number of prominent new sponsors, will not debut on track until the second pre-season test in Barcelona next month and the team will use the 2014 car in Jerez on Feb 1.

Perez, who has yet to win a grand prix, said it was an emotional day for him to present the car in his home country, which is returning to the Formula One calendar this year for the first time since 1992.

"I think everyone in the team is really motivated," said the Guadalajara-born driver, who joined Force India from McLaren at the end of 2013.

"We are looking forward to a great season. I think we are starting the season with a big high so I am sure it's going to be a great year.

"I am going into my fifth season (in F1) with my best condition ever in all aspects, so I expect to have my best year in Formula One," he added.

German team mate Nico Hulkenberg, who scored 96 points to Perez's 59 last season, agreed that the sixth-placed team could do well.

"We have a really solid foundation and I look forward that we get even better, we take the next step," added Hulkenberg. "I think we have some new personnel so I'm really excited and look forward to this year."

Team principal Vijay Mallya said the car's colors made it look 'a little more mean and a little more hungry' and hoped the team, who came close to beating McLaren last year, could again challenge the 'big boys of F1'.

"We are lucky to have two exceptional drivers who will hopefully steer the... challenger to the front of the grid and hopefully a few podiums during the current year," he said.

The season starts in Australia on March 15.

(Writing by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Pritha Sarkar)