Sergio Perez believes Force India's new Formula 1 car has "big potential" following his first taste of the VJM09.
The team launched its new F1 challenger on Monday morning, before development driver Alfonso Celis Jr was entrusted with its first day of running.
Perez took over on Tuesday, setting a time of 1m23.650s on the super-soft compound to be third-fastest for the day, behind the ultra-soft shod Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo.
"Very good, very positive," the Mexican driver said.
"I am very happy with my first day in the car, there is big potential that we have to exploit out of this car.
"I certainly feel comfortable and happy to be here in the first day.
"We more or less managed to complete the whole programme that we were hoping to do today.
"When you have days like this, on your first day in the car, definitely it's a good thing."
After a troubled 2014/15 winter including delays as it moved to Toyota's windtunnel in Cologne, Force India missed last year's opening pre-season test, then ran its old car at the second.
While a 2015 car made its debut in the final test at Barcelona, it was not a full package until the team's B-spec update was introduced mid-season at Silverstone.
From there, Perez and team-mate Nico Hulkenberg helped Force India to its best finish of fifth in the constructors' championship.
The difference between last year and 2016, with a definitive race car, bodes well, Perez feels.
"If you compare where we were last year, it's a couple of seconds difference, already," he added.
"We managed to improve a lot throughout the year last year, and today the starting point is pretty strong.
"It's making a huge difference, being able to focus on understanding our new car.
"We did the same last year, but we did it during the races.
"We took a couple of races to understand the car and to learn how to work with it.
"We are in a much better position than we were last year, so I'm very optimistic."