Rubens Barrichello admits he can't wait to get the new F1 season underway as the experienced Brazilian heads into his second year at part of the Williams line-up.
Barrichello joined the team last season and ended the year tenth in the standings with a best finish of fourth on the streets of Valencia.
With Williams having adopted a radical design on the new FW33, which features the smallest gearbox the team has ever produced as part of a tightly-packaged rear, the Grove-based outfit enjoyed a solid pre-season testing programme with Barrichello admitting he couldn't wait for the new campaign to get underway.
“Everyone is doubly excited about the first race as we should already have been racing by now,” he said. “It was great to get more time at home with the kids but I want to get started and can't wait to see the red lights go out in Melbourne and for the season to be officially underway.
“It is always an exciting moment when everyone lines up on the grid with no points on the board. I always fantasise a little about what could be, but I keep my feet on the ground and focus on the race ahead. I am absolutely looking forward to getting to Australia.”
Team-mate Pastor Maldonado meanwhile will make his F1 debut in Melbourne, with the GP2 champion aiming to score points in his maiden appearance.
“I feel more than ready to start my first season in Formula One,” he said. “I have never been to Melbourne before but we've done a good amount of testing which will add to the time I have spent learning the circuit in our simulator. I am now just looking forward to going racing. It will be a very exciting moment. My aim this weekend is to get a solid finish, and to score some points.”