Mark Webber has come back stronger this season after struggling to match teammate Sebastian Vettel last year, according to Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner.
The Australian was handed driving duties for the first test of the new RB8 at Jerez today, completing 53 laps and setting the fourth fastest time overall. Horner believes that Webber has returned with the "right attitude" as shown in his approach today.
"He has come back leaner, lighter and enthused about F1 and the season ahead," said Horner when asked about Webber's mindset. "He seems to have a spring in his step and is looking forward to getting out there and going racing again, which is exactly the right attitude to be approaching the season with.
"Last year was a tough campaign for Mark, especially when his teammate was performing at the level that Sebastian was, but he put in some fantastic drives and finished with a win in Brazil, which was the best tonic going into the off-season."
Webber shares Horner's view, and insists that he is as hungry as ever heading into his 11th season in Formula 1. The 35-year-old spent his winter break in his native Australia, although he emphasized that he has no immediate plans to return there despite many continuing to tip him to retire soon.
"I feel refreshed," said Webber. "I feel extremely hungry and motivated for the new season.
"The Brazil tonic was very nice in many ways, but also to have the off-season in Australia, I haven't had that big a break in a long time. It was actually quite nice to do that.
"It's nice to be reminded that I enjoy going there for a break. I'm by no means ready to live there yet. I still have stuff to do but it was great for me."
Webber returns to the cockpit tomorrow before handing over test duties to Vettel for the final two days of the Jerez test.