Ferrari's Fernando Alonso says Australian punters who want to bet on the grand prix in Melbourne should keep their money in their pocket because reliability issues are going to make the race a lottery.
"It's not easy to bet this year, for the people who usual bet for Australia," Alonso said.
The former world champion notched up an impressive afternoon session on day two of pre-season testing at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir on Thursday, coming in third on the timesheets with an impressive 1:36.516 and completing 96 laps.
But he was well aware that time was running out to get ready for Melbourne.
"It's going to be tight, it's going to be challenging, but in a way I'm happy with how the team is doing," he said, acknowledging the new regulations were making it difficult to get the package right.
"From outside it's very exciting what formula one can be, especially at the beginning of the year," he said.
"It's new in a way. It's not a mechanical new technology, there are not aerodynamic issues. We are talking about computers, numbers and electronics. We are in that area at the moment.
"On the team's side there's a huge amount of work going on. It's challenging for everyone. We like the challenge and we are working to get on top of the little issues that are happening."
Andrew Tate travelled to Bahrain courtesy of the AGPC.