Ferrari is working hard after the 2011 season opener, where in Australia the team's 150 Italia car was notably less competitive than it had seemed during the recent winter period.
"I was not surprised that Red Bull were so good, but that we were so bad," admitted Fernando Alonso, according to Bild.
Team boss Stefano Domenicali said a problem of too little front downforce, which affected the balance of the car and its ability to preserve the Pirelli tyres, has been identified.
"We need to understand why we did not see on the track what we could see on paper," he is quoted by La Stampa newspaper.
"But we must be realistic that if Red Bull confirm their pace, the gap cannot be recovered in Malaysia," added Domenicali.
Fernando Alonso, however, insists that his title is on track.
"To win the title you need 13.4 points per race," said the Spaniard. "I got 12 (in Australia) so that's almost average.
"Yes I lost points to Hamilton and Vettel, but I gained against two other rivals for the championship, Webber and Button."
Commentators outside the famous team paint a different picture, like Spanish engineer Joan Villadelprat, who said Ferrari is "nowhere near where they thought they would be".
To win the title you need 13.4 points per race.
"They have a lot less downforce than Red Bull because they built a car that is too conservative with no risk.
"However, Ferrari knows how to develop and the base is good and reliable."
Alonso thinks Melbourne might have been a one-off.
"We did something wrong, because all winter we were a second ahead of Toro Rosso, Sauber and Renault, and today we were fighting to beat them," he told La Sexta.