"Let's see what we can do till Melbourne, but we are quite optimistic," he quickly added. "This year we can win races from our own strength and not only at special circuits like Monte Carlo and Singapore.
"We've had a very good time," he continued. "The engine is reliable and I would say we have never had such a good preparation for a season."
Asked the inevitable question about the team's new engine partner, he refused to be drawn into making comparisons with Red Bull's former supplier.
"It's a new period, we don't look back, we look forward," he said. "It's a very good relationship.
"The concern was of course reliability," he continued, "but so far there's not been a problem. There's a new culture too, but it fits very well with our people."