So, it's been a useful and very encouraging testing period for the team and the new W09 - which certainly has a lot to live up to, following on from the success of its predecessors. Programmes have featured race simulations, low-fuel qualifying runs and tyre tests.
In fact, getting to know the new 2018 Pirelli tyres has been a major focus during pre-season testing. But while we have been determined to learn as much as possible about our own car and the tyres it'll use this season, we've also been looking at what the competition is up to.
"We might pretend that we are focused only on ourselves - but we fool no-one," James admits. "We look, in excruciating detail, at what the others are up to. Our strategists pore over all the available information, trying to deduce the pecking order from the patterns in the lap times and GPS traces.
"Our aerodynamicists and designers examine a huge and growing archive of photos, looking for interesting innovations. We listen to the pit-lane gossip and try to build up from the myriad nonsense whether there are any repeated themes that have a ring of truth to them.
"The sadder ones amongst us even read the end of day press releases, trying to see between the lines of quotes for any hint that a team is sounding a little smug, or whistling to keep its spirits up.
"Some of this we do because we are obsessives - because we love the sport and because we can't help ourselves. But some of it carries real value. The end result of all this effort is a composite picture of the strengths and weaknesses of our opposition, which in turn feeds our own development decisions in the weeks and months ahead."