Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has played down suggestions that the Italian team and new signing Fernando Alonso head into the opening grand prix weekend as favorites.
Domenicali told the BBC on Friday that he believed his team was not the pace-setter based on testing form, but that he was pleased that Ferrari was back in the fight after a disappointing campaign in 2009.
"For sure, it is important to start the season in a totally different way to last year," Domenicali said. "But we are not out in the front, we are behind the main competitor, at least from what I can see from the testing.
"But if we are there, then the season will be long and then we will see where the pace will take us at the end. We need to stay cool and start with our feet on the ground because that is the way it is. It's easy to over-react in a positive or negative way. I think we just need to see where we are really."
Domenicali added that the new regulations and lack of refueling had further blurred the form: "I think we need to understand, like everyone, how qualifying and the race will develop with this new situation. It is really a learning curve for all the teams and also for us so we need to stay cool."
Domenicali did admit, however, that the team had made great strides over the winter and that the decision to switch development focus to the 2010 car early last year had been vindicated.
"It was a very painful decision for all the team and for me, as you can imagine," he said. "But at least what I can say from the end of last season with more than 1.3sec gap, for sure that at least we have recovered one second, so in that respect the decision was correct. And now we need to see where we are in comparison to the others and push to the end."