Ferrari had high praise for Sergio Perez after the Mexican on Thursday tested one of the Italian team’s single seaters for the first time.
A race rookie with Sauber in 2011, 21-year-old Perez is also a leading member of Ferrari’s driver academy and is tipped as a possible future replacement for Felipe Massa.
Perez completed 46 laps in Ferrari’s 2009 car at Fiorano.
“Sergio proved to be aggressive and quick right from the start and was able to adapt to the car in a very short space of time,” said academy chief Luca Baldisserri.
“He is very mature for his age, displaying an understanding that goes beyond the time he has spent driving single seaters.”
Perez’s best time, however, was eclipsed by the other academy member Jules Bianchi, a French GP2 driver and Ferrari’s official reserve in 2011.
Perez admitted his objective is to race for Ferrari one day.
“It’s impossible to say how things will go and my dream is to become world champion and it would be nice if it could happen with a team like this one,” he said.
Also with praise for Perez this week is Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali.
“I think he’s having a great season,” he is quoted by Spanish sports daily AS. “He will be a great race driver in formula one as he has started with a good approach and humility and he can grow a lot.”
Meanwhile, at the Ricardo Tormo circuit near Valencia, newly crowned GP2 champion and new team reserve driver Romain Grosjean has spent two days this week in the 2009 Renault.
The 25-year-old actually raced the R29 seven times in 2009 and is now tipped to return to F1 next season.
“The aim of the drive was to get me used to drive an F1 car again,” said Grosjean.