Lewis Hamilton remains adamant that reliability will still be a factor for Mercedes during the Australian Grand Prix, after claiming a stunning pole position in difficult qualifying conditions.
Hamilton lived up to the pre-season hype about Mercedes by taking top spot with a last-gasp lap, displacing Red Bull debutant Daniel Ricciardo in the dying seconds of Q3, while team-mate Nico Rosberg finished third.
But despite the pole, and the forecast of more favourable weather conditions for Sunday, Hamilton says that finishing the race will still be a challenge.
"Tomorrow, the race is to finish the race - everyone still has the challenge [of finishing]," he said.
"Ricciardo was saying [Red Bull] haven't done a race simulation yet, we have, but still those race simulations weren't the easiest.
"Tomorrow's going to be a challenge for fuel, a challenge for tyres, it's going to be a learning process for us. So by no means do I think it's going to be easy."
HAMILTON NOT DISCOUNTING RED BULL
Hamilton also acknowledged the threat of Ricciardo and Red Bull, the reigning champion team having seemingly shaken off a difficult pre-season and returned to form, despite Sebastian Vettel missing out on Q3.
"They've won the championship for several years now so you know that they're a strong team, I'm aware of what's possible in a team, things can turn around quite quickly with a lot of work and particularly with good direction," said Hamilton.
"They are a great team but we're here to battle with them, to give just as good if not more back.
"I think tomorrow, we don't know what's going to happen. Obviously we want to win, that's our goal, we're going into [the race] with the focus of trying to win, it would be a dream to get a 1-2 for the team.
"But at the moment it's about trying to get that first race under our belts, as good as we can, and getting to the end of the race - fuel-saving, all those things, we're going to learn a lot.
"[Red Bull] were very competitive in Bahrain in one of their long runs, so we definitely can't rule them out."