Lewis Hamilton believes that McLaren has the pace to beat Sebastian Vettel to victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, after declaring himself in a better frame of mind than he has been at recent events.
Boosted by a trouble-free weekend and solid pace from McLaren, Hamilton is upbeat about the prospects of taking the fight to pole position man Vettel and deliver a win that would do much to erase memories of recent on-track troubles.
"I think we have got the pace," he said. "I think yesterday on our long run, it looked quite positive.
"For me, I've not done that many good long runs in practice in P2 for a couple of races now, so to get a good decent stint in which is consistent is a good step for me, so hopefully that will help us. If we can get a better start than the Red Bulls that will be even better, but following here is still tough."
Hamilton welcomed the fact he was well away on the grid from Felipe Massa, with whom he has clashed several times this season, and that he had so far not visited the stewards this weekend.
"I'm ahead of Felipe, so that helps!" he smiled. "With racing a lot of it is mental. Even if you think you're ready, subconsciously you might not be. This weekend I feel fresh, clean in my mind. I've stayed out of trouble which makes a huge difference and adds to your confidence, and then you just roll with it.
"I'm second on the grid. I've not taken a penalty, which is usually quite a big hit to your confidence, and we're in a good position tomorrow to just move forward. I feel strong, I feel that I arrive tomorrow in as good a position, in terms of preparation, that I can ever do. So there's no reason why I can't compete for at least the position I'm in at the moment, if not further."
Teammate Jenson Button was equally optimistic about what McLaren can achieve in the penultimate race of the season.
"Our pace looked pretty good yesterday," he said. "Whether it is good enough tomorrow we have to wait and see. Seb didn't do any running on the softer of two tires, which is positive for us. But still they will have a competitive car and he is starting in best place for a good race tomorrow.
"We are more competitive in the race than in India; I have a better feeling in the car, so unless everybody does we should be looking a bit more competitive."