Rio Haryanto says that Manor Racing is aiming to get into the midfield positions in 2016, but admitted that just going the full distance and reaching the finish at Melbourne would be a good way to make his début for the team.
"I think this year’s car is a huge step compared to last year so all is really good over the winter," said the 23-year-old Indonesian star, who moved from GP2 to Formula One over the winter.
"We still have a lot of work to do. We’re just getting better and better every time we are going out," he continued. "We are still working really hard to improve the car every time we are going out of the garage.
"We are aiming to get to the midfield but obviously right now we still have a lot of work to do. We’re doing our best and we’ll see how we get on."
The new qualifying system might just provide the crucial unknown quantity that could help Manor achieve that midfield aim: "It’s new to everyone and we all have to adapt," noted Haryanto. "Anything can happen. We are looking forward to it."
When asked for his personal ambition for his first Grand Prix outing in two weeks time, Haryanto was more cautious: "I am aiming to finish the race," he said. "Mileage is very important and testing is very limited."
After running just one lap in the morning due to a mechanical issue, Haryanto wrapped up pre-season testing in Barcelona on Friday with 58 laps in the books, and also clocked the 12th fastest time on the new-for-2016 ultrasoft tyre.