That is the view of Jaime Alguersuari, the former Toro Rosso driver who is now a commentator for British radio as well as Pirelli's new test driver.
The Spaniard told Europa Press news agency that Ferrari, whose Fernando Alonso won the rain-marred Malaysian Grand Prix three weeks ago, remains "one step below" the current pacesetters.
At the same time, however, the 22-year-old insists that the 2012 title race remains "very open".
"Alonso was only the winner (in Malaysia) because he did a great job in choosing and managing the tyres," said Alguersuari.
"But Ferrari have the potential to develop the car in a short space of time because the top teams are capable of gaining a second, a second and a half, which is what I think they're lacking.
"And I think what happens in the end is what matters to Fernando Alonso," he added, also explaining that the 2012 field is tightly bunched together.
"The FIA has done a great job with the regulations and I think we should be grateful," said Alguersuari.
"Now we can see a Sauber that really can be ahead, and that's because there is much less difference between the first and the fifth (best) car."