Kamui Kobayashi is "very confident" about the pace of his Sauber team ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix next week.
The Swiss squad enjoyed a strong start to the season in Australia, with Sergio Perez finishing in seventh place, one position ahead of Kobayashi. However, the team was disqualified for a technical infringement, although the Hinwil-based team insisted there were no performance benefits from it.
After its strong showing, Kobayashi is also upbeat for Sepang.
"After our good performance in Melbourne we are, of course, very motivated for the next race," said Kobayashi. "The guaranteed higher temperatures in Malaysia, though, will make a big difference. I especially expect the tire degradation to be significantly higher there, so this might result in different race strategies.
"Another challenge could be if we get a wet race, as this happens quite often in Malaysia. But we are now very confident about our performance after what we did in Melbourne. I hope we can continue like that with our pace. The circuit is nice with a couple of high-speed corners, and the layout offers more overtaking opportunities than we had in Albert Park."
Mexican Perez, who made his grand prix debut in Melbourne, is also in bullish mood for the second race of the season.
"Of course, I'm very motivated and looking forward to what will be my second Formula 1 race," said Perez. "I think we have a good car. It is quick enough to aim for points and it was reliable. I hope we can keep this consistency and do more good races. Now, after I have my debut grand prix weekend behind me, I know a lot better what to expect in qualifying and the race, and this gives me even more confidence. I know the Sepang circuit from a GP2 Asia race in 2009.
"It is physically very demanding and also quite technical. Because the circuit is long it is difficult to get a lap right there."