Sergio Perez thinks Force India has made a 'good step forward' with its updated car at the British Grand Prix.
Although the Mexican had been quite cautious about the potential of the revamped Mercedes-powered VJM08 ahead of his first experience of it on Friday, he could not hide his delight afterwards about how the car had performed on the opening day of practice.
With teammate Nico Hulkenberg having broken in to the top ten in both sessions, Perez reckons that the potential was there to fight with closest rivals at the high downforce track.
"I think it is quite promising," Perez told Motorsport.com. "I think we have definitely done a step forward today; so I am really looking forward to exploit the full potential of the car.
"We went in so many different directions and tried so many different things today to explore the car.
"We have a long night tonight to come to some conclusions, but I am very optimistic that we have made a good step forward."
Perez had been open that just keeping up the pace it had shown in recent races would be a sign of progress for the team, because it had struggled at the high-speed Barcelona track earlier this year.
"I said before that you are going to have to compare us to what we did in Barcelona, with similar track to here and similar compounds. And our car is now better everywhere.
"I think short run pace shown by Nico is quite promising. And if we can improve a bit more the long run pace, then who knows?
"Toro Rosso looks strong, the Red Bulls as well, plus the Williams. But to be fighting those guys at a track like this is definitely a step forward."