Sergio Perez believes he and his Racing Point team are “underrated” and says they have begun testing in stronger shape than they expected.
Although he only put 30 laps on the team’s new RP19 chassis yesterday, Perez told Sky he is optimistic the team could challenge for ‘best-of-the-rest’ honours in 2019 following its rebranding from Force India.
“I think fourth would be a great achievement for the start of a new era and we will grow from there,” he said. “We are a team that can still grow and we are growing.
“We have a lot of people very underrated in our team, including me. So we are looking forward to delivering and showing what we can do with the right tools in place.”
Following the injection of funds from the its new owners, Perez said Racing Point is “in the best place it’s ever been.
“It’s my sixth year with the team and it really feels like a fresh start. Everyone is so motivated. We know that it’s up for us to deliver at the level we should be.”
Despite his limited running on Monday, Perez said the team has “over-delivered” so far.
“Normally expectations are always better at the factory but we had a nice surprise that we over-delivered here.
“But I have the feeling that everyone is very happy with their cars. I don’t know what happened with the rules this year or what’s going on around, everyone seems to be quite happy with their balance so I think it’s something more than that. On our side we are just focusing on ourselves and trying to be the best as possible.”
He predicted the midfield battle will be “extremely tight” this year. “I don’t know who is on top and at the bottom. But I think from top to bottom it’s about three tenths, four tenths.
“It’s really close. I hope I am not wrong by Melbourne. But so far what we have seen, you have to forget the tyres, fuel loads, whatever, it looks really close the midfield.”
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