Lewis Hamilton is confident that McLaren is in a much better position than it was at the start of last season after day two of the final preseason test at Barcelona. The 25-year-old Briton was only eighth fastest of the 11 runners today, but believes the MP4-25 is a big improvement over the 2009 car.
"We're in a much stronger position than we were last year," he said. "It feels all-new.
"After driving last year's car here this, feels light years ahead. When we came here last year we were way off the pace and the car didn't feel too good. We're definitely in a much stronger position, but we've got a lot of work to do."
Hamilton believes the different development programs and fuel loads being run by all the teams is making it difficult for anyone to know exactly how competitive they are.
"We don't really know what everyone is doing, but there are quite a few cars looking very fast," he said. "It seems like the Red Bull is pretty quick, the Sauber is very quick, the Mercedes kind of looks quick, the Toro Rosso looks quick.
"Clearly, there are some teams that are extremely fast. We're just focusing on our program. We feel we're doing a good job, but we've got work to do – we don't feel like we're the quickest and we're not comfortable. We're just trying to maximize the days."
Hamilton is unsure whether McLaren can match the 1m20.614sec lap that put Williams' Nico Hulkenberg at the top of the time sheets today, but pointed out that most teams will be introducing upgrades before the season opener in Bahrain.
"I don't know whether we can do a 20.6," he said. "We'll wait and see, but I haven't been out on the same fuel loads as some of the others have – we're doing a slightly different program.
"I'm sure over the next couple of days we'll get a much better understanding of whereabouts we are at the moment, but from now until the first race everyone will be bringing even more updates. We do have upgrades coming."