Mitch Gilbert seems set to be running at the front of the GP3 pack this term after impressing in testing at the weekend.

The 20-year-old, driving for new team Carlin for the first time, topped the time sheets in the final session of four of official tests in Estoril.

The Twickenham-based Australian is gearing up for the opening race in Barcelona in May and believe he and his team are a force to be reckoned with.

“We’ve been working non-stop to make sure we hit the ground running,” he said.

“It’s a totally different atmosphere here with Carlin. They want to be first.

“It’s very new for me, but it makes you feel you’re going to win before you even get behind the wheel.

Mitch finished seventh in the first session and ended 12th in the afternoon of the first day, despite a few issues with the steering.

He finished sixth in the morning session of the second day before saving the best for last – topping the timesheet in the final outing.

He added: “We were one of a large group of drivers who saved a set of tyres until the last session and we came in, in a real quick time.

“We then had to wait about three hours for everyone else to come in before finding out where we placed.

“It’s been a really long time since I topped a session so it’s given me a boost.

“It is nice to get the disappointing last couple of years behind me and be able to look ahead with real belief.”