Kimi Raikkonen says his Ferrari is simply not fast enough to fight on top after a disappointing performance from the Italian squad in qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix.
"Honestly, the main problem is that, at the moment, we are not quick enough to fight for the top places," said Raikkonen, who finished as ninth fastest.
"The car is not lacking in any particular area, but we do not have enough grip to be as quick as those who finished ahead of us today.
"Tomorrow's race will be very tough. We will try to make the most of the start. In Australia, it was very good but there was nowhere to go, whereas here, the straight is long and the track is wide. Furthermore, as we saw yesterday, our pace is competitive.
"We have to improve our performance but obviously, it is important to have the regulations clarified as quickly as possible, to understand in which direction to go. Both types of tyres work well over a distance and we will try and exploit that," added the Finn, whose team failed to score any points in Australia.
Ferrari's day was made even worse by Felipe Massa's failure to reach Q2 after the team made an error of judgement, thinking the Brazilian was safe without needing an extra run.
"This result is definitely not up to our expectations, even if we knew it would be a difficult qualifying," said team boss Stefano Domenicali.
"However the aspect that really leaves a bitter taste in the mouth is the way in which we tackled the first part of the session. We made a false assumption that cost us dear with Felipe, who was immediately out, failing to make the first cut.
"Tomorrow, it will be a long and difficult race, with a question mark over the weather which can change really quickly. We will have to make the most of our race pace and the start: in Australia, we saw that anything can happen and we will have to be ready to pounce on every opportunity, with the obvious proviso that we cannot make any more mistakes."