Kimi Raikkonen has urged Ferrari fans to be patient in their wait for the Italian outfit to get back to winning ways, despite the upturn in performance the team has enjoyed since the Spanish Grand Prix.
With the Finn having delivered Ferrari's first podium finish of the season in Monaco, hopes are high that he or teammate Felipe Massa could be in the hunt for victory at this weekend's race in Istanbul.
However, Raikkonen is urging caution in not letting expectations on the team get too carried away – especially since Brawn and Red Bull Racing still appear to have the edge at the front of the field.
"The Monaco weekend was a step forward as far as the result is concerned, but we have to be patient: I know that our fans want to see us winning immediately, but we have to be realistic," Raikkonen told the official Ferrari website. "We're closer, that's for sure, and we'll have some updates in Turkey; but we know that the others work hard too. Compared to the Monaco track the Istanbul Park is a more conventional track and we have a more definite idea."
Raikkonen believes that the aerodynamic demands on the Istanbul track, which features the famous Turn 8 corner, will expose any deficiencies his F60 has compared to other cars.
"I really like this track and it's very demanding. There are all types of corners and blind spots to brake; everything you need for a beautiful race.
"This year's cars have less downforce, but we're using slicks: corner number 8 will be very exciting under these circumstances. I think that it's the downforce we still have to make up ground compared to Brawn GP and Red Bull, but we're heading in the right direction.
"Now, almost half way through the season, I'm much more optimistic than I was at the start, especially with the steps we've taken in the last two races. We know that there are further improvements coming up, which makes me think positive about the future."
Although cautious about Ferrari's recovery, especially in light of Jenson Button's dominant start to the year, Raikkonen has not given up on the championship.
"Whoever wins five out of six races at the start of the season is in an excellent position to winning the title, but the championship isn't over yet. Everything can happen, although things have to change very soon," he explained.