Toyota F1 president John Howett has urged his team to remain 'paranoid' that big guns McLaren and Ferrari will come back strongly soon - despite its lock-out of the front row at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The Japanese manufacturer has had a strong start to the campaign, taking podium finishes in the first two races, and could be on the verge of a maiden victory at Sakhir after Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock took the first two places on the grid.
With the performance of the TF109 pointing towards a potential title challenge, Howett wants his team to remain cautious.
"We are in the top three definitely," he told AUTOSPORT. "There is no question about that. We have got to be paranoid that the McLaren and Ferraris are recovering very strongly. But we have got to keep pushing and have confidence. If we can get a really strong result it will help."
Toyota's promising start to the year has eased speculation that the Japanese manufacturer could pull out of F1 – although Howett has reiterated that its future will not be totally secure until it scores a maiden victory.
"I think in the end Toyota is a winning company – we use the brand slogans on the back of our car relative to the market," he said.
"They are all about pushing the limits and winning. That is the culture in the company. We will never rest until we win, and then we need to win, and then we need to win for half the cost."
Howett is refusing to take anything for granted about Toyota's chances for the Bahrain Grand Prix, even though the team appears to have the pace to beat its rivals.
"I am really happy – but qualifying is qualifying. It is only one step to winning. You need to qualify well but now we have got to focus on having a great race and capitalising on the advantage. Until we are there, don't get complacent."
He added: "Yes, the car is quick. Relative to Brawn and Red Bull, I think it is very, very tight. And you can see some of the others catching up now. So, it means no sleep."