HRT team boss Colin Kolles believes his team has at least two seconds in store and is confident it will catch up with the field soon.
In Australia, Brazilian Bruno Senna qualified around 1.5sec off the pace of Lotus's Heikki Kovalainen, who was the quickest of the drivers in new teams. Unlike its rivals, the Hispania team had no preseason testing and its car first turned a wheel at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Kolles reckons if the team keeps its progress, it will soon be at least two seconds quicker.
"We have no major issues. We are getting closer to the field and, if it goes on like this, we will be catching up very soon," Kolles told AUTOSPORT. "I think there are still two seconds in the package. At least two seconds."
He said his drivers also need to get used to Formula 1 machinery and to driving on circuits they don't know.
"This is one of the things, and obviously to get acquainted to a Formula 1 car," said Kolles of the new circuits. "They haven't had experience in Formula 1. Formula 1 is different than any other car. I think the whole package is at least two seconds quicker."
Kolles also revealed Geoff Willis and his team are working hard on developments to improve the car's reliability.
"The objective is to improve the car in all areas. To get the reliability," Kolles said. "There is already development on the reliability side, because the first thing now is to make the car reliable. There is already a steady change of components to sort different issues."