Fernando Alonso says Ferrari must remain calm and focused despite a disappointing start to the 2012 season.
The Scuderia was off the pace of the leading teams in preseason testing and Melbourne after admitting it failed to meet the goals it had set for the start of the season. Alonso qualified 12th in Australia and then finished fifth in the race.
The Spaniard admits Ferrari is not in the position it would like to be, but insists there is no other solution but to stay calm and keep on working on closing the gap.
"This is F1 – there is not an easy time for anybody," said Alonso in Malaysia on Thursday. "We need to work hard every day and night to normally catch up."
"We have to stay focused knowing we are a little behind, but we stay calm. We see determination in the team, everyone trusts each other, we stay united and hopefully the time will come for us.
"We are not in the situation that we wanted to start the 2012 championship, but after 11 years in F1 you understand how long the championship is, what you need when you have the best car and what you need when you do not have the best car, which is sometimes more points or less points.
"We need to score as many points as possible in these next few races and in a short period of time we want to score podiums and win races. If we manage to do that, then we have plenty of time to close the gap. If we do not then it is because we did not do a good-enough job."
Although Alonso has said that although he is not expecting Ferrari to be any stronger in Malaysia than it was last weekend, given the short gap between races, he made it clear he is not ruling anything out.
"I think we need to wait and see," he said. "We don't have a crystal ball to see the positions. We have to see how competitive we are on this circuit, we don't expect any big miracles here as the cars are identical, but who knows?
"I think in Australia no one expected us to finish fifth – there were a lot of people quicker than us, with different circumstances and with mechanical problems. Michael [Schumacher], [Romain] Grosjean crashed and Kimi [Raikkonen] was out of Q1, so there were some incidents in the race that helped us to finish fifth, so here with a normal race maybe we finish further behind, and if it rains, or there is a crazy race, maybe we can finish in front. We have to play before we see what we can do."