Red Bull Racing must make the most of this week's test at Mugello to push on with improvements to its car if it is to keep fighting for wins, reckons Mark Webber.
Even though Sebastian Vettel took victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, Webber thinks that the evidence of the first four races points to just how much work Red Bull Racing needs to get through if it is to get itself back to the kind of form that helped it dominate last year.
"The next few days will be important," said Webber at the end of the rain-hit opening day of Mugello testing. "There is lots of information to gather and although today did not work out, we are optimistic the next two will."
Red Bull Racing has openly admitted that its main weakness at the moment is its qualifying pace, with its form in races being strong enough to lift it through the field. Webber thinks that even though the team triumphed in Bahrain, it faced a tough fight to do so, having come under extreme pressure from Kimi Raikkonen in the Lotus.
"It's certainly closed up, no question about it," explained the Australian about the competitive order in 2012. "The Saturday pace for us has been more challenging.
"In Bahrain, Sebastian put in a clean weekend but still wasn't dominating. Obviously, off the pole he had more of a clean grand prix to manipulate the race, but no-one has had a dominant weekend. Ultimately it's about the dominance of the car and we want to get back to those days, where we can be more comfortable in all conditions. It's a great car, but we need to make it better."
Looking at his own championship situation, Webber is not displeased about his third position in the standings - although acknowledges he needs to start finishing better than fourth.
"I am happy to have those points no doubt, and it is a really good base to come in to Europe," he said. "You could also say if you had two crashes and two wins you'd have the same number of points, so it's not a very spectacular way to accumulate. You need bigger points than that if you're going to challenge at the end, and I realize that."