Sebastian Vettel is confident that Ferrari is not as far off Mercedes as it appeared in the Spanish Grand Prix, as he bids for success in Monaco this weekend.
After fighting closely with Mercedes in the early races, Vettel was left disappointed by a 45-second deficit to race winner Nico Rosberg at Barcelona a fortnight ago.
But although that suggests Ferrari has fallen back, Vettel is confident that a better understanding of the progress its new aero package delivered, and different tyre compounds, will deliver a different picture this time out.
"I think we come here [to Monaco] open-minded and try to do our best," said Vettel, who finished fourth fastest in Thursday morning's opening practice session.
"I don't know the record of Ferrari in particular at this track, but if you look statistically, especially last year, I think we have broken all the statistics so far and if we can keep doing that, then we can be happy.
"We have a car that is generally working everywhere at all the circuits so far – in the high speed sections but also the twisty sections.
"It is true that in Barcelona in the last sector we were not so competitive, but maybe I think it is more down to the fact that we under performed in Barcelona rather than there being something wrong with the car.
"I expect us to hopefully as competitive as the average of the first couple of races."
Tyres important factor
Ferrari suspects that its poor form in the final sector of Barcelona highlighted a traction deficit, which could have been related to the harder compound tyres used in Spain.
With the soft and super-soft compounds on offer in Monaco, Vettel is hoping he can get back the level of confidence he needs to be strong.
"Obviously it is the first time we use them [the super softs] this year," he said. "So I think we have to wait and see.
"It is important here that you have the confidence in the car, because if you have that then you can really extract everything that there is.
"If there is a doubt in your mind, especially around the street circuit where you don't have the room to try certain things, you leave a little bit of lap time on the table and you miss out.
"It is important that you get the right feeling straight away with the car and the tyres, and you should have a solid weekend."