Sergio Perez says Force India can probably expect a 'painful start' to the 2015 Formula 1 World Championship season as it plays catch up on its rivals heading into the Australian Grand Prix.

Financial issues contributed to the team unveiling its VJM08 at the last of three F1 tests in Spain, the car getting just two and a half days of track mileage ahead of this weekend's season opening Albert Park race.

Indeed, though the team completed more mileage than expected in that time, Perez concedes the VJM08 is unlikely to be up to a competitive pace until the European events, claiming that top ten finishes at this moment would be 'mega'.

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"I am pretty sure we can maximise the full potential of the car," he said. "Unfortunately, that is not going to be quite enough, but I am confident with the car. The characteristics haven't changed that much from last year, so we are quite aware of the issues.

"We are not expecting big things. If we are able to score a couple of points from here up to Europe it would be a mega job from the team. It is not ideal where we are, but the season is very long and I am very confident that once we get this car running we will get the performance.

"We are not where we expected to be in terms of pace for the first race, but we need to look forward. It is going to be a painful start of the year but we will soon get to where we want to be."

Looking ahead to the Australian Grand Prix itself, team-mate Nico Hulkenberg says there is a focus on the race as the car is unlikely to be up to speed over a single lap in qualifying

"There are not too many expectations," he added. "It is just a matter of starting our work here and obviously our focus is on the race because one lap pace will be quite difficult, but the race is where you get the points so we need to try and be ready there. No mistakes and capitalise."