Sergio Perez says the McLaren-Honda MP4-30 has 'potential' from what he could tell having spent a portion of the Australian Grand Prix battling with Jenson Button.

The Mexican driver enjoyed a tussle with the Briton - whom he partnered at McLaren in 2013 - during the early stages of the Australian Grand Prix and would eventually finish ahead of him in tenth, despite the pair making contact and spinning at one stage.

Indeed, though Perez says the Honda-powered car appears to be fairly slow in a straight line at this time, it seems to be relatively well sorted through the corners from what he could see.

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"You can see the car has potential, but the engine is quite a bit off, that's what I can tell from the outside," he said. "On the corners they have a good car, but it is difficult to follow in F1 so I don't know how good [exactly] the car is."

Coming to the Malaysian Grand Prix looking to build on Force India's double-points' scoring first round in Australia, Perez plays down the effect missing much of testing has had on the car, saying its modest pace is due to a lack of downforce primarily.

"We are finding stuff through the races," he continued. "I don't think [not testing] has hurt us that much, because we are lacking downforce. If we had the downforce we could maximise the potential of the car. It just an evolution from last year, we know more or less how it works. I think there is big potential, it is just a question of when we can bring it and how rivals develop."