Lewis Hamilton says he is massively excited to see what Formula 1's first qualifying session of 2012 reveals, and is confident that McLaren will be in the mix for pole.
A rain-hit second practice session furthered the uncertainty over which of this year's teams enters Australia in the strongest shape, preseason testing also having failed to establish a clear favorite.
While Hamilton finished second to teammate Jenson Button in first practice, he said it was still hard to gauge others teams' form, and can therefore only be confident that qualifying will be close.
"We feel like we are there or thereabouts, but again we don't know what fuel loads people are on," Hamilton said. "I think it looks quite close between us, maybe Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes. It's going to be interesting tomorrow.
"People usually go through the same programs in P3, so I think then we will get a better understanding of just how quick people are. I'm massively excited to see how it goes."
Hamilton played down talk of being frustrated by his lack of running in second practice, but did concede that it would be important for the team to maximize tomorrow morning's third and final session ahead of qualifying.
"It wasn't frustrating [the lack of running], just a bit boring. It dulls the intensity – I'd rather be in the car," he said.
"In practice tomorrow, we will try and make sure we get out immediately and maximize the whole session, make the correct setup changes so that we are in the window, in the zone. The tires are the tricky part, trying to get them working in the cold conditions is not the easiest."
Asked whether it was significant that the race has been won from pole position four times in the last five years, Hamilton added: "[Pole position] is definitely a step in the right direction, but I don't think it is the be all and end all."