Racing Point's Sergio Perez has "no doubt" the soon-to-be rebranded Aston Martin team can challenge Formula 1's leading squads in the future thanks to the championship's new cost cap rules.
No team other than Mercedes, Ferrari or Red Bull has won an F1 race since the turbo hybrid era began in 2014, with an unofficial 'Class A/B' divide coming into effect over the ensuing six campaigns.
But the new $145 million cost cap rule, which will come into effect from 2021 and reduce further over the following two seasons to $135m for 2023-2025, as well as other measures such as restricted windtunnel time for the more successful squads, are aimed at closing up the F1 pack.
Racing Point will be known as Aston Martin from the start of next season in a quasi-works arrangement and has approved plans for a F1 new factory - although this will now be operational a year later than planned in 2022 as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic.
When asked if the new investment allied with F1's new financial rules would make his squad the best-placed team to improve versus its current position in the pecking order at the pre-Austrian Grand Prix press conference, Perez said: "Certainly the team is in a good shape, in a good position for the future.
"I think everyone saw what we managed to do in the past, with such a limited budget that we had. We were extremely successful.
"So I think now everything is ready in the team to welcome Aston Martin and definitely to make the next step.
"It has to be a huge step, obviously, to fight with the top three, with the big teams.
"But with the cost cap in the budget that should bring everyone more together and hopefully, well, I have no doubt that we will be able to challenge them."
Lance Stroll, whose father Lawrence controls both Racing Point and Aston Martin, added: "I think there's great potential going forwards. The team is in a great place.
"There's a lot of things to look forward too. There's a bright future ahead in my opinion and that's very exciting for everyone.
"I think the energy in the team is better than it's ever been. People are really looking forward to the future.
"But we're here right now, we're in Austria, it's great to be back racing and we've got a big season ahead of us. My sights are set on this season."
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