Force India's Sergio Perez believes the team's pace in Jerez this week won't be an accurate representation how well they will perform during the season opener in Melbourne.
Instead, the Mexican feels the two testing sessions in Bahrain will provide them with a better platform to assess their pace.
Perez has had limited time in the simulator before this week's Jerez test and only managed 11 laps behind the wheel on Tuesday.
"There are so many things we need to get on top of to understand the difficult engine; how it works, all the energy, all the system itself is just quite complicated to understand but also to maximise, especially for the first few races," Perez told ESPN from the Andalucia.
"I haven't been able to do much in the simulators yet. I think it will be good if we can [do more], of course, but it's difficult at the moment because we have to focus on the car itself, our priority has to be to get on top of how the car runs.
"The driver at this point of the season and early on can make a big difference. Bahrain will be a better reference for us ahead of Australia but it is going to be different for everyone out there. The work Nico [Hulkenberg] and I do up until then will be very important."
The former McLaren driver added that he is yet to feel comfortable behind the wheel of the new VJM07 car.
"I didn't manage to get the tyres up to temp or everything on the limit so at the moment it seems really difficult to drive. Through corners you don't feel as much response as you hope to have so we need to learn," the 24-year-old continued.
"I don't want to judge the level of downforce we have right now but it does feel very low, very scary."
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