Alex Albon says Red Bull has succeeded in improving the handling of its Formula 1 car ahead of the 2021 season.
The team recently admitted that the difficult handling was one reason Albon struggled to keep up with Max Verstappen last year - ultimately leading to the British-born Thai driver's demise.
However, Red Bull retained Albon as a test and reserve driver, tasking him with helping the team to improve the handling of the 2021 car that will be raced by his replacement Sergio Perez.
"Working with the new car was my winter project in a sense," Albon said.
"We learned a lot on the simulator. It's no secret that last year's car had its particular characteristics, and part of my task was to improve the handling.
"This year we want to be in the lead from the first race in Bahrain.
"It's good to see that our efforts were not wasted and most of this work is in the RB16B design. When you put a new car on the track, the first thing you want to do is make sure the problems from last year are solved.
"Judging by the first impressions, everything worked out," the 24-year-old added.