Nico Rosberg says his Mercedes team is not yet fully on top of the tire issues that have hindered the outfit in the first two races of the season.
The German squad has shown promising pace in qualifying but has then struggled with tire degradation in the races, where its pace has dropped significantly.
Although Rosberg says the team has a better understanding of the issues, he concedes there is still work to do.
"I'm sure we understand it a bit better, but in Malaysia it was a bit of a different issue to Australia, so it's two separate things," he said when asked by AUTOSPORT about the tire situation.
"We've learned, but it's not so easy. We don't fully understand all the issues yet, so it's really going to be step by step and trying to improve the situation."
The German driver believes Mercedes' situation has improved since the start of the season, and he reckons the team would have been better than in Australia had the Malaysian Grand Prix taken place in the dry and with more heat.
"We would have been better," he insisted. "In Melbourne we struggled a lot with the heat and we did a lot of things to improve that situation, so we would have looked better in Malaysia, but not up to our qualifying level."
Although Rosberg claimed the car has a lot of pace in qualifying trim, he reckons a strong grid position will not help much if it cannot get on top of its tire problems.
"The car has the potential to be very, very quick in qualifying. Maybe a little bit more than we managed in the last races, but I wouldn't say we missed out on pole. With the pace that we have in the race, even if you are on pole, you are not going to win, so we need to work on the race pace."