Perez: We need a flying start
Force India's new recruit Sergio Perez says it's vital they are up to speed in the opening races of the season, when F1's technical shake-up promises to have a similar effect on the competitive order.
Speaking one day after the Silverstone-based outfit became the first team to reveal their 2014 car, Perez reckons they also need to be ahead of the game when the season starts in Melbourne on March 16.
"I am confident we will be ready and I am really looking forward to the big challenge that lies ahead of us," the Mexican told Force India's official website. "It's going to be a very busy time, some weeks in which we will need to get everything in place.
"It will be very important for us as a team to get on top of the new regulations as quickly as possible. It's a crucial opportunity to steal a march on our rivals, especially at the beginning of the season."
It was an approach that worked well for Force India last year, when time spent ensuring a good understanding of their car and its tyres enabled drivers Paul Di Resta and Adrian Sutil to score points in seven of the first eight races. Their performance suffered, however, when Pirelli was forced to change its tyre construction mid-season.
With F1 entering a new era featuring new V6 turbo engines and enhanced energy recovery systems 12 months on, Force India face a very different challenge.
Perez, too, needs to learn - both about the new breed of car and also his new team. Yet the McLaren refugee, who revealed that he underwent knee surgery during the off-season, is relishing the challenge.
"I genuinely can't wait to drive the car," Perez added. "The expectations are high and everyone is working really hard for it. It's nice to work with my new team and now it is the moment to speed it up and do more together: this way, by the time we get to Australia everything will be second-nature."
The Sky Sports F1 Online team will be providing live commentary of all three winter tests, starting in Jerez on Tuesday January 28, with live updates from trackside also on Sky Sports News.