Lewis Hamilton expressed his optimism after racking up almost two Grands Prix distances during the opening day of testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Monday.
Hamilton trailed Sebastian Vettel by 0.470s in the final standings but completed 156 laps, with none of his rivals passing the 100 lap marker.
"The car has been great so far," he said. "It's very similar to last year's - which is a good thing, as it gives us a great foundation to work from.
"The key is to get as much mileage as possible in the short time we now have for testing and we've made a fantastic start.
"The team has done an incredible job to get the car running the way it has - completing so many laps with no real problems.
"That's seriously impressive on the first day, so fingers crossed it continues. The tyres feel a little different and we'll work to understand them better in the coming days.
"Barcelona is one of the best circuits to test a new car, too. It's got a wide range of corners and the weather's always good, so overall it's been the perfect way to kick off the year. Of course, it's still early days."