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Sergio Perez says it is important for Force India's season that they challenge in Spain

Mexican knows circuit will be a real test of the VJM07's pace

By William Esler.   Last Updated: 08/05/14 4:52pm

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Sergio Perez says Force India will be able to look forward to a successful season if they can challenge for the podium once again at the Spanish Grand Prix.

The Mexican gave the team their first top three finish since 2009 in April's Bahrain and both Perez and team-mate Nico Hulkenberg finished in the points at the Chinese GP last time out.

The layout of the Circuit de Catalunya places an emphasis on aerodynamics and it is generally considered in F1 circles that if you are competitive in Barcelona you, you can be competitive anywhere.

The start of the European leg of the season will also see teams bringing major update packages to their cars and Perez admits it is imperative Force India are on the pace this weekend.

"I think it is very important," he told Sky Sports News. "This circuit does not give you any more points than the others, but it is always important to know that you can do well here, that the updates that you have brought here will keep you in the fight for the next couple of races.

"So it is quite important and important for the motivation of the team to do well here as we know that we can have a good rest of the season if we do well here."

Temperatures in Spain are forecast to be warmer than the murky conditions in China and Team Principal Vijay Mallya is hopeful that will help his squad.

"It's encouraging that we have performed well across a wide range of circuits, so I'm optimistic that we can maintain our competitive form in Barcelona," Mallya said.

"China has never been an especially strong track for us, so to come away with ten points was a very good effort.

"We also expect our car to perform better in warmer conditions and there are some upcoming races that will play more to our strengths. At the same time we know that Formula 1 never stands still and Barcelona is always a pivotal moment in the development race, but I'm optimistic we can keep up our momentum."

Should Force India challenge for the podium in Spain it will be a marked improvement for the Silverstone-based outfit who have never finished higher than seventh at the Catalan venue.

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