- Force India
'So many things to get on top of' - Perez
Sergio Perez believes Jerez will be less important than Bahrain in assessing pace for Melbourne as teams across the grid get to grips with the new regulations.
The opening day of testing saw just 93 laps completed as the teams present struggled to get to grips with the conditions, with Perez himself managing just 11 behind the wheel. The Mexican has had limited time in the simulator before Jerez, and he admits he sees the Spain test as one for the teams to get to grips with their machinery - while the drivers will start to come into their own in Bahrain between February 19 and 22.
"There are so many things we need to get on top of to understand the difficult engine; how it works, all the energy, all the system itself is just quite complicated to understand but also to maximise, especially for the first few races," Perez said.
"I haven't been able to do much in the simulators yet. I think it will be good if we can [do more], of course, but it's difficult at the moment because we have to focus on the car itself, our priority has to be to get on top of how the car runs.
"The driver at this point of the season and early on can make a big difference. Bahrain will be a better reference for us ahead of Australia but it is going to be different for everyone out there. The work Nico and I do up until then will be very important."
Based on his initial impressions of the VJM07 Perez admits it may be a struggle to get to feel comfortable behind the wheel before the season opener in Melbourne.
"I don't want to judge the level of downforce we have right now but it does feel very low, very scary," he added.
"I didn't manage to get the tyres up to temp or everything on the limit so at the moment it seems really difficult to drive. Through corners you don't feel as much response as you hope to have so we need to learn."