Fernando Alonso believes it is a "present" that he is only 10 points away from the lead of the World Championship after four races.
The Ferrari driver won the Malaysian Grand Prix but his car has not proved competitive enough to repeat the feat in the other races. Alonso finished in seventh position in Bahrain on Sunday, nearly a full minute behind race winner Sebastian Vettel.
The Spaniard reckons that having lost just 10 points to the championship leader was unthinkable given Ferrari's form at the start of the season. He insists, however, that Ferrari must react immediately and be stronger when the European season starts.
"After four races, with 100 points to win, being eight or 10 points behind the leader is completely unthinkable," said Alonso. "It's a bit like a present what we've had in this first four races. We appreciate it and we take it, but leaving the points aside, what worries the team is the performance of the car, and that we have to improve it right away for Barcelona."
The two-time champion said he was left with mixed feelings after the Sakhir race, having finished so far from the winner but in front of rivals like McLaren.
"We have mixed feelings, because on the one hand we were in front of both the McLarens at the end of the race, which is something we didn't expect after quali. On the other side we are 57 seconds away from the winner, so this is bigger than any other race in 2012. So we need to look at why we were so far from the podium positions."
Alonso also said he will accept what the stewards decide on his incident with Nico Rosberg, after the German pushed him off the circuit when fighting for position.
"We'll have to see what the stewards say. I just tried to overtake and went off track. Here it's no problem because there's that extra bit of circuit on the sides, but he did it twice with Lewis [Hamilton] and with me. We'll see. We really need to look on the TV and whatever they decide will be good."