Sergio Perez says he expects a challenge to qualify inside the top ten for the Singapore Grand Prix, despite ending the first day of track action with the sixth best time.

The Mexican, a top six finisher in the last two races, enjoyed a solid start to the weekend in the Force India as his super-soft lap took him amongst the Mercedes' and Ferraris.

However, Perez feels he will be fighting a rear-guard action for qualifying, speculating that Williams and Toro Rosso could make it a challenge to even crack the top ten.

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"Normally our rivals improve a lot more tomorrow than we do. Obviously it was a good lap today, but you have the Toro Rossos and the Red Bulls, the Williams' which are normally running a lot of fuel. So I expect tomorrow to have a big challenge to make it into FP3.

Indeed, Perez says the headline-grabbing option tyre laps have a tendency to 'hide' problems with the package, making races more of a challenge.

"On my single lap, there's so much grip on the options, it hides quite a lot of your problems. It's a bit like Monaco, you don't really notice your weaknesses of the car, but as soon as you put fuel in you start to feel the balance and you realise that it's not quite there.

"I think tomorrow if anything we can make a difference for Sunday. Tomorrow is very important and crucial for Sunday. So tomorrow we really need to get a good result."