- Second Bahrain Test - Day One
'We have made a great step' - Perez
Sergio Perez insists Force India should have "big targets" after unlocking some of Force India's potential on a positive opening day to the final Bahrain test.
Perez set the fastest time on Thursday and his lap count hit triple figures, with his tally of 104 the third highest of the day. He thinks Force India should be aiming to compete with the top teams at the first race in two weeks' time.
"That's our target and the team is working really hard," Perez said. "We should have big targets because everything is possible. I think we don't know where we are exactly but I am comfortable we are not in too bad a position.
"I think we have done a great job because we moved forward big time. Friday is my last day in the car before Melbourne so hopefully we can have another positive one. I don't think many teams or drivers have had the opportunity to have a proper day. I'm lucky to have had at least one day and hopefully tomorrow can be another one."
After struggling in Jerez, Perez had mixed fortunes in Bahrain last week and said the team's breakthrough was exactly what they had been waiting for.
"I think we have made a great step today. We really needed a day like this, especially because we've had so many troubles. The first two days in Jerez were useless. Then last week was a bit mixed, I ended the second day lasted only 10 laps. I was really in a hurry to have a day like today and it was a positive one in terms of work. We managed to do a lot of laps, try several different compounds and mappings, and it's been a fantastic day in terms of learning about the car."
Perez also managed to practice his starts during his time in the car and, despite launching off at an unusual trajectory, he is convinced there will not be too much difference if drivers are able to master the new settings in their cars.
"The start is the same procedure; it doesn't change so much as before. You do feel the torque, it's a lot nicer at the start if you have the grip. If there is a problem with the selections and the electronics you might struggle, I couldn't select the right one."