Ferrari technical chief Pat Fry has admitted that at present he does not believe the team is competitive enough to finish on the podium in the Australian Grand Prix.
Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa have struggled to get consistent front-running pace out of the Ferrari F2012, which is a radical departure from the team's recent designs, in testing. Asked where he felt Ferrari stood and if he was excluding podium finishes at present, Fry replied: "At the moment, I'd say yes. But I suppose I'm always slightly pessimistic."
He admitted that Ferrari had plenty of ground to make up, and that a decision to change its exhaust position mid-way through testing had added to the challenge.
"I am disappointed by our performance level at the moment," said Fry. "I think we've got a lot of work to do.
"The change we made last week to the exhaust position has put us a little bit on the back foot and we're trying to optimize to that. We've obviously still got a lot of work going on at the factory and we'll have new bits to test in Melbourne."
Fry said it was hard to be certain exactly where Ferrari stood in the pecking order, beyond that it was trailing the frontrunners.
"Testing is always hard to see exactly where you are," he said. "We knew historically what fuel levels people have run, so we've got an idea where they are, but if they've changed what they've done for the last two or three years, I could either be depressed, more disappointed or less disappointed, I don't know. I think we've still got a reasonable amount of work to do."