Sergio Perez reckons the softer range of compounds chosen by Pirelli for the Russian Grand Prix could result in some interesting strategies in the race.
Last year, in the inaugural race at Sochi, Pirelli opted for medium and soft compounds, but this year the Italian manufacturer has gone for the soft and super-soft option.
With overtaking difficult at the Sochi track, strategy will be key for teams to outscore their rivals - especially for Force India, who are in a battle with Lotus for fifth in the constructors' championship.
“We saw last year that overtaking wasn’t easy and it was a one-stop race for most cars. This year the tyres are a step softer so perhaps that will mix up the strategy options a bit more," said Perez ahead of the race.
Sochi similar to Marina Bay, Yas Marina
Talking about the track, Perez says that Sochi reminded him of the Singapore and Abu Dhabi tracks having similar corners. The Mexican particularly likes the long left-hand turn 3 corner.
"There are lots of 90-degree corners and acceleration zones, which put high energy through the rear tyres," he said.
"There are some quick parts of the lap too. I remember last year that turn 12 was quite difficult because you are pulling high g-forces and braking for turn 13 at the same time."
Teammate Nico Hulkenberg, who returned to form with a fine sixth place in Japan, echoed Perez's sentiments and added that the track has a "nice flow".
"The lap is quite long, with many similar corners, and that adds to the difficulty of putting together a perfect lap. The final sector is quite technical and is a big challenge for the drivers," he said.
Team principal, Vijay Mallya added that the team will have new parts on the car as it continues to develop the B-spec version of its VJM08.