Rubens Barrichello is adamant that his Brawn GP team will be the surprise of the 2009 season following its dream debut in testing at Barcelona this week.
Despite the former Honda Racing team being saved at the last minute by a buyout from Ross Brawn, its BGP-001 car has been the star of testing in Spain, with Barrichello setting the fastest time of the week on Friday as he comfortably outpaced his rivals.
And although testing times are usually misleading, Barrichello is convinced his team is in a strong position to shine in 2009.
The veteran racer believes team work is the key to having such a good car after such a difficult period for the Brackley-based squad.
"It's team work and the belief that they had in the two drivers," Barrichello told the official Formula One website.
"I believe in myself and Jenson being top of the list among the drivers - although I can see plenty of good drivers in Formula One - and the team did a fantastic job to produce a good car.
"Right now, all I say would (only) mean that I would put myself under pressure for the first races.
"All I can confirm is that it is a good car, that it is a good engine, it is a good group and I think we will be the surprise of the year."
Barrichello, however, said he did not want to get too carried away too soon.
"I don't want to step in front of my thoughts and think that it is a deal done for the year, but it is a great start," he said.
"It's a great group doing a good car - and (all) that after months of complications and political things. The good guys were working doing this car marvellously - now we just have to keep on doing. I think we have a good chance to have a car to surprise."
The Brazilian also admitted he feared for his future in F1 while the team fought for survival.
"I think it is fairly early to speak about the championship. All I can say is that I've been waiting for this moment for a long time.
"I was afraid back in Brazil that I wasn't going to put my expertise - and my happiness - into a nice car, because I didn't know if I was going to drive or not. I am really happy to say that this year is going to be a happy one."