Sergio Perez said he feels confident of challenging for a place in the final phase of qualifying in Abu Dhabi after a solid run in Friday practice.

The Mexican was able to complete his full programme in the two Friday sessions and ended the tenth with the tenth quickest time as he seeks to return to the points after three races where he has failed to score.

Comfortable behind the wheel, Perez said the practice results were as expected and an indication that he should be able to challenge for a place in Q3 in Saturday's qualifying session.

"For me it was a good day," the Sauber ace said. "We have completed our entire planned programme, so in this respect it was very positive. I am comfortable with the balance of the car and, therefore, I think my position in the second session is pretty much what we are capable of here. This means Q3 is possible."

Team-mate Kamui Kobayashi however said he wasn't happy with the balance of his car and had to make improvements ahead of Saturday's on-track action.

"I definitely have to work and improve the balance of the car," he said. "At the moment it isn't right in any regard, but it is only day one in Abu Dhabi. The track's grip normally improves a lot here, which might also help. Today I didn't really manage to get the tyres to work. However, on long runs I don't see any issues with either the soft or medium compounds in terms of degradation."


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