Lewis Hamilton set the quickest time of the Barcelona test on Sunday, after he and team-mate Jenson Button set the best times of the two previous tests at Jerez.
Hamilton was back at McLaren headquarters today, where he shared his thoughts on the team's progress throughout the pre-season.
Q. How confident are you in the car's ability over long runs?
Lewis Hamilton: On the first day of testing it wasn't particularly impressive, we weren't fast enough compared to the Ferraris. But on the last day we made some improvements to the car. On the long runs, if you look at the times, I did a race distance so you can guess what fuel load I was on and the balance of the car and the times I did were very competitive - probably the most competitive of the day, so that was a big boost of confidence for me.
Still, I think the Mercedes was very competitive over its long runs and so was the Ferrari. [But] when you go to another circuit it's really about how we use the tyres, and the temperatures. We have to manage these in the best way we can.
Q. Who do you think your biggest rivals are for the championship and why?
LH: I think the biggest rivals, team-wise are Ferrari, Red Bull, Mercedes, Sauber and Force India. For me, these look like the most competitive teams. In terms of the drivers, you've got Felipe [Massa], Fernando [Alonso], Jenson [Button], probably [Sebastian] Vettel and Mark Webber because obviously they've got a quick car, Michael [Schumacher] and Nico [Rosberg].
It's really difficult to say who is the most competitive out of all of them, but at the moment the Ferrari looks the fastest I think.
Q. Michael [Schumacher] has said he thinks the McLaren looks like the strongest car. Do you think that's a bit of psychological warfare or do you think McLaren is in the strongest position going to Bahrain?
LH: I don't think we're in the strongest position. I think we're in a strong position, just as they are. But it really is impossible to say who is the fastest. You don't know what fuel loads everyone was on.
We were on a decent fuel load all day on Sunday so I feel quite comfortable in our pace that day. But without doubt we have to keep pushing because I'm sure other people will come with updates for the first race, so we're pushing as hard as we can to find some more time.
Q. What does your schedule and preparation look like ahead of Bahrain?
LH: I'm here this week doing some preparation with my engineers, quite a bit of media work and photoshoots. It's busy all the way up to Friday or Saturday and after that I go back home for some training and then I fly off to Bahrain.
Q. Anything you're looking forward to in the run up?
LH: I'm looking forward to getting to Bahrain. It's the first real trip we're going to do - looking forward to getting some good weather. Walking into the paddock for the first time each season is always a real buzz, and obviously getting in the car on Friday.
Q. Do you think the refuelling ban is going to make on-track overtaking more important, and will this play to your strengths?
LH: I definitely think it's as important as ever to overtake on the track. But it's going to be harder this year to keep the car on the track because it's a lot easier to make mistakes with the tyres dropping off so fast and graining.
It's different with pitstops, you could jump people. I don't know what kind of role the pitstops are going to play this year. It's different, it's not about who goes longest, it's about who stops before the other one to jump them, so it's a different strategy. But I think it's going to end up giving us some good racing.
Q. Now that you've had the chance to work with Jenson, how similar have you found your styles and set-up preferences?
LH: At the moment we haven't even overlayed our laps or race traces. Jenson has been doing his tests on one day, and I hear his input and feedback at the end of the day, and vice versa, but we haven't really looked at the different driving styles or demands.
We seem to give back the exact same feedback, the same feeling in the car, which is a positive, a plus for us. Working together is going very well at the moment, but the first race will give us a real indication of just how different we demand the car, when we drive on the same day. Because so far each day has been different.
Q. How has the change in the race engineering personnel been for you so far?
LH: It's quite a change for me because I had Phillip [Prew] and Jakob [Andreasen], who is now Jenson's chief engineer. I was working with those guys for the last three years so it was new for me to change my engineers and have something completely fresh - we had something working very well before.
But I think it was great for the engineers, for Jakob to take the step from a second engineer to lead engineer, and also for me, I've got a great guy in Andy Latham, he's got great experience.
It was good to have Phillip, who is a fantastic engineer, promoted to oversee both sides of the garage. So I think it's much better organised than we have been in the past and I think it will work really well.
Q. How are you looking forward to going to toe-to-toe with Fernando? And a first opportunity to have a go at Michael?
LH: For Michael, it's a real pleasure just to have such a legend on the track. I'm excited just to be on the same track as him. I'm sure at some stage we'll have some good battles and I'm looking forward to that.
Hopefully if we're up the front competing with Felipe and Fernando, that's fantastic for me. In 2007 we were competing with Felipe and Kimi, and now to have Fernando there, it's another incredible driver and will make it a serious, really fun battle. It's good to see those guys back up there.
Q. Is there any particular skill Jenson has, or anything about the way he does his job that you admire or covet?
LH: At the moment, no. Simply because the work we've been doing, we've not been working on the same day. Today we're doing some photoshoots and interviews, but we've been separate.
There are some things about how he'll carry himself or drive, his smoothness, approach to corners, braking, acceleration, I'm sure once we get to the first race and we have to overlook one anothers driving styles, I have no doubt that there will be things I can learn from him, and he can learn from me.