Adrian Sutil says it was important to confirm Force India's pace in Australia following the promise of the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Sutil and teammate Tonio Liuzzi enjoyed a strong weekend at Sakhir, despite the German failing to score following a first-lap spin. But both men continued to prove competitive in Australia, something that Sutil reckons proves Force India can now be strong at every track.
"It was important to see it here in Melbourne, a very different track," Sutil told AUTOSPORT. "But we did pretty well. This is a high-downforce circuit, but it seemed like we really have the downforce in the car and it's not a surprise like at some circuits last year, where we had a very good straightline speed. Now it's more average and that's good, so we can be strong in every circuit."
The German, who will start the race from tenth, admitted he expected to qualify higher up.
"I expected P7, P8, that was possible," he said. "We missed out a little bit in the end, because the tyres were not coming in, on the first lap I had traffic. It just didn't happen.
"I was quite a bit slower than my Q2 time but we know what the problem was and that's OK. Still, 10th position is what the normal aim was for this weekend."
Sutil said he is not setting targets for himself for the race, and just wants to stay out of trouble and see how the event unfolds.
"I just want to have a good race and see what comes out. I don't know where we are going to be. I think our race pace is good, but it's a long way through and a lot of things can happen. Also, the weather forecast doesn't look great, so it could be a wet race."
If so, the Force India driver is confident that his team can shine.
"I'm fine with everything," he added. "I think we have a good car in the dry as well, so we don't need to be scared of any kind of condition. But for sure the rain helps us a little bit more. Both are fine."