Sergio Perez expects a tough fight to get into the points in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, despite predicting that his Sauber will have good race pace.
The Mexican is confident that he has the speed to fight for a position in the lower reaches of the top 10, but with tyre degradation negligible, it will be hard work to make up positions.
"I'm expecting a very difficult race due to the low degradation and people doing the same strategies," Perez said. "But we expect the Mercedes [of eighth-place starter Nico Rosberg] which is quite high up to struggle so maybe we can make up some positions.
"We are in a good position. Our race pace is good, so we should be strong. That [fighting for eighth] should be the target for us."
The Mexican admitted that he finds the races more interesting when tire degradation is a bigger variable. He anticipates that few drivers will make more than a single stop.
"Pirelli has been quite conservative for the last races, where people will make one pit stop," said Perez. "I expect to do an easy one-stop. Tires will degrade a bit but I don't see many going for two stops. It will be an interesting race but degradation will be very low.
"Normally, it's a lot more interesting when you have more degradation."