Lewis Hamilton says he is not thinking about starting the season with a race win but merely getting points on the board to kick-start a long 2012 season.

13644 - Hamilton targeting points in Melbourne

"It's a realistic aim: to score some useful points and use the race to kickstart our challenge for the world championship," said Hamilton. "That might sound like we're aiming low - we're not - but, at this time of year, it's good to remember that it's going to be a very long season. There's no point putting all your eggs in one basket - I'd love to win in Melbourne, sure, but there are 19 races afterwards, so it'll be important to get some points on the board. As long as I can leave Australia feeling confident that we have a car that's able to fight for the title, then I'll feel happy. It's as simple as that."

The McLaren team has enjoyed a relatively smooth build-up to the season after completing three trouble free test sessions and Hamilton says he feels as confident as ever heading into the first race of the season.

"I actually feel more relaxed and ready for the new season than I think I've ever done. Everything has gone smoothly with the car - which is more than we can say for last year! - and it just seems to be a responsive and reliable package. My final day in the car - with the aero package we plan to run next weekend - also felt good: the car was a useful step forward.

"Of course, we haven't tested it in competition yet, but there's plenty to feel optimistic about. It's a bit weird to have driven the car for a whole month and still not done a really fast lap - I guess we'll really find the limit next Saturday. Obviously, this is always the time of year when you're feeling positive, but we've got plenty to look forward to. I'm going to get off the plane in Australia with a big smile on my face."