Perez: This can be the best car I’ve had to start a season

Sergio Perez has offered high praise for Racing Point’s RP20, reckoning it could be the best car he’s ever started a Formula 1 season with.

One of the biggest stories in the F1 paddock through the first week of testing, the RP20’s visual similarity to last year’s Mercedes W10 have seen it branded the “pink Mercedes”, with a significant performance boost to match.

Third-fastest on Wednesday while completing 84 laps, Perez could not hide his excitement when asked by journalists about the prospects of the car.

“I think, yes, this can be the most solid package I’ve had in my career to start the season. I hope in Melbourne that proves to be right. But at the moment, the car is working well. I think there is good things, good signs. But we’ve got so much work to do before Melbourne. So hopefully we can do it.”

Traditionally slow-starters before enduring something of a down year in 2019 amidst the transition from Vijay Mallya to Lawrence Stroll’s team ownership, Perez sees 2020 as a year where the former Force India can once again return to the front of the midfield.

“I think we have never been so prepared before… we always tend to recover in the second half of the season, so I think it will be the first time we can start strong,” he said.

Indeed, barring any major surprises in the final two days of testing, Racing Point will head into the season as a popular pick for fourth in the constructor’s championship. Only two weeks separate the end of testing from the season opener, the latter scheduled for March 13-15 in Melbourne, Australia.