Sergio Perez is optimistic that he can challenge for points immediately when he gets his Formula 1 career under way with Sauber in Melbourne at the end of this month.
The 2010 GP2 runner-up has shown encouraging form through winter testing so far and was fourth at Catalunya today. Asked about his hopes for the start of the season, Perez replied: "I would be really happy if I could be top 10. I think it's achievable. I think we can achieve a top 10. This is our aim, to be in the points."
The Mexican will make his debut in Australia after two seasons of GP2, and while he admits that the competitive order is still a mystery, he said that he believed that Sauber would start off in decent shape.
"We are getting there," he said. "I think we've got some good updates and we are getting there. Hopefully, we can still do some work to improve the balance, but I am positive.
"I don't think anybody has an idea [where they stand]. It's my first season in Formula 1, but what I hear from a lot of people is that nobody knows, and we don't know where we are."
Perez enjoyed a solid opening day to the final preseason test at Barcelona, despite losing some track time to mechanical problems. He briefly held the top spot on the time sheets at the end of the day, but had the lap canceled out after being found to have cut the chicane.
"Today was a positive day," he said. "We missed a bit of the program, but apart from that it was a positive day. The new updates that we brought to the test seem to work in the right direction, so we can be happy."