Vitantonio Liuzzi is confident he can go much faster as the Italian GP weekend progresses after a solid start in practice on Friday.
The Italian driver will be racing in F1 for the first time since the 2007 season after replacing Giancarlo Fisichella at the Force India team.
Liuzzi had a promising first day of work at Monza, finishing as 12th quickest. But the Force India driver is optimistic there is still more pace to extract from his car when he focuses on laptimes rather than on getting used to the Mercedes-powered machine.
"Today was much better than the straightline testing," Liuzzi said. "It's a completely different approach as you get used to the rhythm, the braking points and I think it's a great challenge. We went for longer runs and covering a race distance and everything is going in the right direction.
"For now I am taking it a bit easy as I want to get used to the tires and the car and tomorrow we will work on the lap time for qualifying. We knew we would have a competitive car and I felt the balance was good, and there is still at least half a second more as I had some traffic on some of my fastest laps.
"It's just the beginning of the weekend but I am really happy about how it went. I think the car is responding really well and we are optimistic for tomorrow."