Daniel Ricciardo says he is not "getting his hopes up" for the Australian Grand Prix after completing his penultimate day of pre-season testing on Wednesday.
While the Red Bull driver admits the team is in a much better situation than it was 12 months ago, the Australian believes he is better off not setting targets for the start of the season.
"First I'm looking forward to going racing," said Ricciardo. "I'm not gonna set too many targets in terms of where we are going to end up.
"I'm not going to get my hopes up with anything. I'm just going to enjoy the weekend. First because we are going racing and second because we'll get some sun, be at home.
"I don't want to our hopes up, but at the same time I'm coming here to race and we'll be in the race, hopefully more towards the front," he added.
"I think it will be similar to the end of last year. I expect us to be close with Williams and probably Force India.
"The question is how far in front are Mercedes and Ferrari."
Ricciardo remains hopeful that Renault will be able to deliver bigger updates than last year to its power unit, and he is optimistic to be closer to the frontrunners by the start of the European season.
"The whole team has given us a lot of confidence that we'll find bigger steps this year with the power unit," he said.
"They've told us to be conservative for the first few races and not to expect too much, but I think when we get to Europe and hopefully we'll get a big step which puts up closer to the front.
"I think we are on the right path. Testing has been a lot better for us so far than it was over the last two years, so let's see how we progress."
Ricciardo will hand over the car tomorrow to teammate Daniil Kvyat before returning on Friday for the final day of testing.
Additional reporting by Jamie Klein