MONTMELO, SPAIN - MARCH 10: Sergio Perez of Mexico driving the (11) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM10 leaves the garage during the final day of Formula One winter testing at Circuit de Catalunya on March 10, 2017 in Montmelo, Spain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

As we begin this season, the Force India Formula One team are still on a very steep learning curve with the VJM10. In terms of data, they are effectively starting from scratch as nearly everything they had from previous years has been set aside.

The reality is that they have only had a handful of days of testing, on just one track and with consistent temperatures, so there will be a huge amount to discover about the car and the tyres once they get running for real in Australia on Friday.

Melbourne is a temporary street circuit and, as such, there are compromises to be made in the set-up of the car. It’s a circuit that is traditionally hard on brakes, but the biggest challenge will be optimising the tyres.

The teams have never done a race on them and Force India has never done a race with the VJM10 and therefore there is still a lot to learn, something that Sergio Perez cant wait to start doing….

“The first race of the year is always good fun. We’ve had a long winter to recharge the batteries, but now I just want to go racing again. Australia is the best place to start the season: it’s a great country and I really enjoy going there. There is so much to do in Melbourne and it’s a fun weekend, even if it’s busier than some of the other races,” said Perez.

“It’s important not to get distracted: we want to start well and get back into the race weekend rhythm, and get on with our work. The track itself is quite enjoyable and it’s a challenge to drive because it’s almost a street circuit. It starts the weekend very green and as you go on, you get more grip and more confidence in your new car.”

“I am confident we can do well and score points from the first race: Australia is a place where anything can happen and we have seen some very unpredictable races there in the past. You never know what opportunities turn up in a race so you have to be ready at all times to take them.”