Pascal Wehrlein says he is encouraged by Manor's deficit to the front runners, and believes that the squad has made substantial progress during pre-season testing.
Wehrlein, who will make his Formula 1 debut in Australia, was eighth quickest on his last test day in the MRT05, 2.2 seconds slower than pace setter Kimi Raikkonen.
Manor spent 2015 significantly adrift of the pack but the German youngster is upbeat over the outfit's potential.
"Already the car feels a lot better than the one we started with last week, so it’s quite exciting as there is a lot of development potential still ahead," he said.
"There is a gap that we need to push hard to close but for the team it’s much smaller than before and though everyone is tired after working so hard, we have some things to look forward to now.
"I feel at home with my new team so my thanks to them and I can’t wait to be racing together in Melbourne in two weeks’ time."
Rio Haryanto will drive the Manor during Friday's final day of testing, though his run plan has been disrupted by a technical problem.