Lewis Hamilton is confident Mercedes have done all they can to be best prepared for the season opening of Formula 1 Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 25, after eight days of pre-season testing at Spain's Circuit de Catalunya.

Mercedes were the only team among 2017’s top three not to do a low fuel run on the fastest compound — the hyper soft tires — during the two tests — the first one from Feb. 26–March 1 and the second from March 6-9. Ferrari and Red Bull Racing both completed low fuel runs during the second test with the latter coming out on top.

The Silver Arrows team chose to focus on long runs instead and racked up the most number of laps among all the teams. Hamilton believes the team gathered enough data to ensure they are in the best possible shape for the season opener in Australia.

The four-time F1 drivers’ world champion, however, refused to make a prediction in terms of the pecking order going into the first race and indicated it will only be clear in Melbourne, potentially after the first qualifying session of the season March 24. Mercedes will go into the season as favorites owing to their dominance in recent seasons, but Red Bull and Ferrari will be hoping to be closer than they were last year.

“It’s still difficult to know exactly where we are in comparison to Red Bull and Ferrari and we won’t fully know that until we get to the first race,” Hamilton said, as quoted on Planet F1. “But I feel like we’ve got as much information as we could in order to equip us with the best data to go to the season opener.”

“The preparation has been really good in the time that we had. It’s been a really positive test. We got through everything, reliability has been great. … Everyone has been working their backsides off and doing a tremendous job, I’m really proud of the team. We’re happy with the information that we’ve got,” he added.

The 2018 F1 cars have proved to be much faster than their 2017 predecessors, with the circuit record tumbling as the test progressed. Sebastian Vettel set the unofficial fastest lap around the new layout of the Circuit de Catalunya with a 1:17.182, but few eyebrows were raised after Mercedes refused to show their true pace with a low fuel run.

The reigning world champions chose to concentrate on race simulations and many observers picked them to be well ahead of the chasing pack yet again. Hamilton revealed earlier the 2018 car is much better than last year’s title winner, but believes the quick lap times are also because of the newly laid tarmac at the circuit.

“Both the car and the track are a lot faster compared to last year’s race here. In my last run during the race simulation I was doing 1:19s – that’s my qualifying lap time from 2017 every lap,” the British four-time F1 world champion added.