Sergio Perez says the Force India VJM08 won't reach its top race pace until after the first two races of the 2015 Formula 1 season, following his first and only pre-season test day in the new car.

Force India missed the first test in Jerez altogether and only ran its 2014 car at the first Barcelona test whilst waiting for the new VJM08 to be completed amidst a series of supplier issues.

As a result the VJM08 arrived at the Circuit de Catalunya on Friday morning and Sunday marked Perez's only test day with the new car after team-mate Hulkenberg was chosen for Friday afternoon and Saturday.

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Despite this, Perez remains optimistic but says his targets for the car have to be realistic as the Force India team has had the least amount of time to prepare for Melbourne, excluding Manor-Marussia's case.

"I was always excited to find out the new car," Perez said. "It was good to have a reference from the old car. As we only had two days with the car we are a couple of steps behind, that is a reality which we cannot hide from. I think it has been a promising start. It will take us a couple of races to get up to speed."

The Mexican driver also feels the team has a clear direction it is progressing towards after spending a year working with the new Mercedes hybrid power unit. Perez is targeting China as the first time he will be properly competitive.

"Something that gives me confidence and makes me feel a little bit more comfortable was we had a clear direction on where we need to improve the car and the steps we need to take. We have a lot of work ahead of us as we're behind the competition.

"Every day and every session we are learning so much about the car, in terms of aero maps, ride height. So many things you go through in Formula 1. But what I must say we've done well with these steps and know the direction we want to follow.

"In Formula 1 it is about adapting yourself to what it coming up. I'm going to Melbourne with only one day of running so it isn't ideal but it is what it is and try to take the best out of that situation."