Sebastian Vettel admitted relief after setting the fourth fastest time during practice for the Australian Grand Prix.
Vettel and Red Bull endured a troublesome pre-season campaign but the RB10 ran smoothly across both sessions in Australia.
"In a way it’s a relief today, the fact that we were running, we didn’t have any problems, the balance was good and the performance looked alright," he said.
"In the end Friday times are not worth a lot, but it’s better to be close to the top rather than somewhere towards the back, so I’m very happy with that. We will do what we can to prepare for tomorrow and Sunday, but let’s see where we are then – the most important thing is that we finish."
Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was sixth fastest and reckons Red Bull is closer than expected to pacesetters Mercedes.
"I knew the guys were doing everything they could since testing but still, we didn’t expect to do that many laps today, so I’m really happy and pleased for them," said Ricciardo.
"I think we have to be pretty positive with where we ended up today. We expected Mercedes to be quickest, but we were within a second of them today so that’s a lot better than we thought."