Racing Point caught the eye of many in the paddock in February at pre-season testing when it turned up a car that had noticeable similarities to the 2019 title-winning Mercedes W10.
The team was struck with confidence as senior personnel within the Racing Point squad spoke of how it was the arguably fastest car it has ever had heading into a new season, as it aims to pull itself back towards the front of the midfield.
Perez recognises that other teams may have out-developed Racing Point ahead of the season-opening race in Austria this weekend, but admits he's excited to discover the potential of the car.
“We're about to find out how competitive it really is. It felt good in Barcelona, we had good potential but it's been a while since then,” he said.
“I don't know how much other teams have been able to improve since then. I certainly feel extremely positive and extremely motivated to start the season on a high and hope for the best.
“I hope that we can be fighting for the top three and challenge the top three teams. That would be something good for us.”
With the original F1 2020 calendar scrapped due to the coronavirus pandemic, Friday will see F1's first offical session since pre-season testing in February, four months ago.
Perez adds that he has been karting in preparation for F1's comeback, but expects a challenge at the first day back in an F1 car since lockdown.
“It's a bit of a strange environment with the situation that is happening globally,” the Mexican commented. It's been such a long time since we were last in the car.
“But it's going to be interesting. I just can't wait to see what I'm feeling mentally, physically, within the car. I've been doing a lot of karting but it's been a while since I've been in the F1 car.
“So I look forward to that. Tomorrow will be quite a challenge to get up to speed quickly and learn as much as possible.”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing