All the posing, posturing and sandbagging to comes to an end as Formula 1 returns this weekend, and Red Bull pair Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat can’t wait.
The new-look Tilbrook squad’s driver line-up will get the 2015 season under way on Friday at Albert Park after a mixed pre-season.
The new RB11 has proven tricky to understand, though that had little to do with their camouflage paint scheme used in the three Spanish tests last month.
Neither Ricciardo nor Kvyat, in his first year with the team, were able to clock as many miles as their rivals as mechanical gremlins reared their ugly heads during the February runs, but the team isn’t panicking just yet.
After a far-more torrid pre-season in 2014, Ricciardo proved the car had pace at the opening round as he took the car to a podium finish - only for it to be snatched from him due to a fuel-flow irregularity.
“Testing has been relatively good for us,” said the Australian. “We had a few reliability issues but we racked up a lot of miles and learned a lot. I still feel that we have a bit more to go.
“But there is no better place to do this than going racing. I’m ready to go.
“I’m just excited to finally go racing again. And for me it’s fun.
“Obviously I’m really privileged having it at home, but in any case, it means it’s a start to a new year.
“There is always new motivation and I think it’s exciting.”
Ricciardo was the only driver in 2014 to beat the all conquering Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg and world champion Lewis Hamilton. The likeable Australian took three victories last time out, comprehensively beating former team-mate Sebastian Vettel into the weeds.
But this year, he is joined at Tilbrook by Russian Kvyat.
Graduating from the Toro Rosso squad after an impressive debut season, Kvyat looks back fondly on his only appearance at the Australian Grand Prix.
He said: “It was my first Formula One race and it all felt like a dream, because I didn’t know what to expect.
“It’s a memory that will never go away. I finished my first race in the points and became youngest-ever scorer, so it was very special for me.”
The 20-year-old is hedging his bets though when it comes to predicting where his new team are in the pecking order after testing.
He added: “We did our best in the testing. I wouldn’t say it was the smoothest, but it was productive.
“Compared to last year we were definitely on another level.
“I’m sure that there will be very tight competition in Australia. We’ll do our best.”