Sergio Perez believes Force India has lost ground on its midfield rivals, but is confident the team can find improvements before the Australian Grand Prix.
Force India opted to run an updated version of its 2017 car during preseason testing to allow the aerodynamics team more time to develop the package.
The decision has left the squad on the backfoot and Perez believes the Melbourne update will need to be a “good step” to put the team back at the top of the midfield.
“We definitely need a good step for the first race and hopefully that will come and we can be competitive from then onwards,”he said.
“What we are experiencing these days is probably irrelevant because once we go to race weekends track temperatures are going to be quite different to what we’ve had so far.
“Right now, it’s hard to judge where we are but certainly I don’t think we are leading the mid-pack at the moment, but I certainly always say it doesn’t matter where we start, it’s where you are in Abu Dhabi.