Force India can challenge - Perez


Sergio Perez believes Force India are capable of taking another step and challenging Formula One's top four next season.

The Mexican enjoyed a decent 2015 campaign, finishing ninth in the drivers' championship and combining with Nico Hulkenberg to be fifth in the constructors' race.

The gap between Force India and Red Bull was 51 points as all teams were left in Mercedes' wake, but Perez is setting high goals for 2016.

"Finishing off the season the way we did provides us with a much stronger platform for next year," Perez said, via Autosport.

"We're expecting other teams to move up. You don't know what will happen with Lotus-Renault, McLaren-Honda, those kind of teams, but we expect them to be up there fighting us.

"There is a lot of hope we can do better than fifth next season.

"I understand to move up to fourth is a big ask, but we have to be aiming for Red Bull and Williams. I believe in the team and believe it can be a fantastic season next year."

Mercedes (703 points) were ahead of Ferrari (428), Williams (257), Red Bull (187) and Force India (136).

The first race of the 2016 season is in Australia on March 20.