Sebastian Vettel thinks it's far too early to judge if any of the big teams hold an advantage at the moment, despite seeing his Red Bull team and Ferrari lead the way in Bahrain.
Vettel took pole position for the season opener and was out front when a spark plug problem slowed him and allowed Fernando Alonso to lead home a Ferrari 1-2. Although Vettel thinks his outfit will be just as strong in Australia this weekend as they were in Bahrain, he reckons it might not just be Ferrari that is snapping at Red Bull's heels.
"If you look in Bahrain, they [Ferrari] looked extremely competitive," Vettel said in Melbourne on Wednesday. "For sure, quicker than anyone else, but also in winter testing, all the way through, they have been very, very strong.
"But it will also be circuit to circuit. Some circuits you like more, some circuits you like less – sometimes from a driver point of view, sometimes the car just behaves better on one type of circuit. So, it is difficult to really say this car or that car.
"There are four teams that are very strong, but the midfield is also very strong – like Force India. We have done one race in Bahrain. That is the only real experience we have, apart from testing, so we need to wait a bit more."
Vettel said that one of the most encouraging aspects of his situation was that the Bahrain performance showed how competitive the RB6 is.
"I think, as I said, the most important thing going out of Bahrain, even though we didn't win, was that we have a very fast car. So, Friday we were struggling, we were not up to speed, but on Saturday and Sunday we were in quite good shape. So, it should be strong here – let's see what we can do."
Vettel also thinks that a repeat of the spark plug problem that robbed him of a probable victory in Bahrain is unlikely.
"The failure on Sunday, it is seldom that happens – maybe it happens only every 10 years," he said. "It shouldn't happen again. It is quite rare that the spark plugs fail."