Lewis Hamilton on Friday scoffed at claims Red Bull's rivals are nipping at the heels of the reigning championship leaders.
"Certainly the McLarens look competitive," Christian Horner said at Sepang, after Mark Webber dominated the opening practice session before enjoying a smaller margin in the afternoon.
McLaren's Hamilton, however, said he was not buying into the story.
"I think they are always blowing smoke," said the 2008 world champion. "I think it's a load of rubbish really, I think they've got another half a second at least to pull out."
We will be pretty competitive here -- that's my guess
Friday's fastest Webber admitted he is in a strong position.
"I think we will see pretty much the same picture (as in Melbourne)," said the Australian. "We will be pretty competitive here -- that's my guess."
And his teammate and championship leader Sebastian Vettel also acknowledged Webber's pace.
"He was a bit faster today," said the German, "so I need to find some more from myself tomorrow."