Ferrari's chief designer Nikolas Tombazis says the Italian squad is aiming to hit the ground running in the 2012 season, but he admits the team is not taking anything for granted.
"Our objective is to arrive in Australia absolutely competitive already," Tombazis told Autosprint magazine. "We don't want to say, 'We are still behind, but we will do.' It's clear, however, that our rivals are neither naive nor idiots. Our objective is to win, we aren't sparing anything. But we don't take anything for granted."
The Maranello-based squad has been hurt by uncompetitive starts to the season in the past two years, and this season has been much less successful than expected, having taken just one win. Ferrari is planning a more aggressive approach for its car for next year, but Tombazis says the new machine will not be another Red Bull-like car, despite the team's dominance during the past two seasons.
"You can't ignore your competitors: if Red Bull wins, you can't say, 'I'll just mind my own business,'" he added. "But it's not just Red Bull having interesting solutions: there are also slower cars with solutions worthy of consideration. You can't hide behind excuses. I think, however, that next year's car will have many different solutions, all ours.
"And it would not be fair to say it's a Red Bull, absolutely. It will be a Ferrari, it will be different in various areas, with new solutions in other areas, maybe taken from other cars. It will be a mix."
Tombazis also said that Ferrari has understood why some of the developments introduced in the latter part of the season have not worked, even if it ran out of time to work on them.
"We have understood what didn't work, but we haven't been able to fix it completely because, in September, solving the problem would have needed more time with effects only on the final three races, taking away too much time from next year's car. This is why, from that point on, we've struggled to stay close to our rivals."