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“Malaysia’s just around the corner so we’re going to have two quick races, and we’re going to get a really quick snapshot of the performance of the cars,” Webber said. “Its going to be very exciting, and difficult to know who’s going to do the business until we get going.

“We’ve been talking now for nine weeks about who’s doing what. I’m sick of talking about it, I just want to get out there and get on the track.”

McLaren is expected to be the main rival to Red Bull in the early stages of the season, even allowing for the expected improvement by Mercedes and Lotus, which had promising performances in preseason.

McLaren had a major rethink on its car just before 2011’s opening race, but is far more settled going into this weekend’s opener.

“Its nice to be back and nice to come here having had a good winter,” said Jenson Button, a two-time winner at Albert Park. “The past couple of years have been tricky over winter, but this winter everything has gone according to plan.”