McLaren team-mates Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton have admitted that they have no idea how competitive they will be when they hit the track at Melbourne's Albert Park this weekend.
Although pre-season testing has been largely promising for the British duo, with McLaren reckoned to be the closest threat to world champions Red Bull, but neither driver is prepared to use that performance as the basis for wild predictions on success in the Australian Grand Prix.
Button confirmed that he and Hamilton were 'excited' at finally getting the 2012 season underway after three rounds of preparation in Spain, but his reluctance to peg McLaren's performance was echoed by his fellow Briton.
"The team has been working hard to prepare us a car to fight with and I'm in fighting shape," Hamilton confirmed to the BBC
, "but I'm not expecting anything.
"It would be silly to have any expectation and say we are definitely going to be on the front row, because we might find out in the next couple of days we're not the quickest and we'd look silly.
"I'm not sure where we lie, but I think we're there or thereabouts. I would like [fighting for pole and victory] to be the case but, whatever the car [we have], we're going to be working as hard as we can to get to the top and do the best with what we have."
Hamilton finished second in last year's Melbourne event, a comparative success after a trouble pre-season, but was still some way behind race winner Sebastian Vettel, who used the victory - the first of eleven in the campaign - as a springboard to his second successive title. Hamilton, meanwhile, went on to suffer a troubled year, finishing only fifth overall, as team-mate Button emerged as the German's closest challenger.