Ferrari has promised it will not neglect its qualifying pace deficit despite long-run performance having become even more important with Formula 1's 2013 tires.
Although the Italian squad qualified second and third in Malaysia, it was a second away from polesitter Sebastian Vettel. Red Bull also dominated qualifying in Australia.
Lotus's victory with Kimi Raikkonen in Melbourne underlined that maintaining tire life in race trim could be more important than single-lap pace, but Ferrari's design chief Pat Fry says that is no reason to ignore his team's qualifying shortcomings relative to Red Bull.
"We've shown reasonable race pace and on all the tire types we have used so far we have performed well," said Fry. "However, we still have a way to go to be quickest in qualifying and we are working very hard on that at the moment.
"We've been concentrating on the longer runs, even if they are not as long as in the past, because this year we expect more pit stops during a race. But we have not ignored our qualifying pace. I am sure there is more to come on this front, as we learn more about our car and start getting the best out of it."
Fry believes the fruits of the development war will be particularly apparent in the qualifying battles. He is sure that Ferrari's changes give it a better chance of adding speed during the campaign than in recent years.
"The key will be to try and move our car development program forward quicker than the other teams do," said Fry. "It's a tough cycle that will last all year and we need to at least match our 2012 development pace if we are to perform better in qualifying.
"So far we have worked well, all the way through from design to manufacture, improving on how we did things last year in terms of actually getting new bits onto the car. Also, our aero correlation is better."
QUALIFYING STATS: FERRARI VS. RED BULL
Poles since 2010
Ferrari: 4 / Red Bull: 43
Average qualifying positions
2010 2011 2012 2013*
Ferrari: 6.8 4.9 8.0 3.5
Red Bull: 2.3 2.4 5.5 2.3
*After the opening two races