A bullish Lewis Hamilton believes he has a car to triumph in Formula 1 this year, as he heads to the Australian Grand Prix as favourite.
After an encouraging pre-season testing programme, Hamilton says he cannot wait for the 2014 campaign to begin so he can find out just how good his chances are.
"I think we're as ready as we can be for Melbourne, and I'm more fired up than ever," said Hamilton.
"With all the changes within the sport and the hard work that's been going on within the team, I believe this can be our year to really show what we're capable of.
"That's not to take anything away from our opposition, who will be incredibly tough to beat as always, but I feel like I'm equipped with the tools I need to succeed. I can't wait to get started."Team-mate Nico Rosberg is more cautious about what to expect from the start of the season, but does not hide the fact that Mercedes is in a good position.
"I think our winter testing programme went better than expected," he said. "Having said that, the first grand prix is the first real opportunity to judge how well we have done against our competition.
"Pre-season doesn't tell the full story, especially this year with the new regulations. I'm really looking forward to getting the season underway and can't wait to be back in the car again."
Although reliability remains the big question mark for Mercedes, its motorsport chief Toto Wolff says that the situation does not worry his team too much.
"We now face the ultimate reality check in the first race of this new era for Formula 1," he said. "The feeling within the team is not one of nerves, however.
"It is more a sense of relief to finally be unleashing our cars in race conditions. Everybody now just wants to get out there and see where we stand. Expectations are high, both internally and externally.
"Although we're not quite where we want to be right now in terms of a complete package, I'm optimistic in that we've done everything possible to prepare for the challenges ahead."