Fernando Alonso is pleased that he is beating Kimi Raikkonen so far this year, but both drivers know that the Ferrari is languishing behind the likes of Mercedes and Red Bull currently....
The rivalry between the two former World Drivers' Champions was a hot topic of discussion since it was confirmed that Raikkonen would rejoin Ferrari, but in the first two races of the season in Australia and Malaysia, the Spaniard out-qualified and out-raced the Finn, even though the latter's race at Sepang was badly affected after a coming together with Kevin Magnussen.
"I would prefer to have won in Australia and Malaysia," Alonso is quoted by Italy's Tuttosport.
"But as long as you are in front of your teammate, you are doing something extra compared to the expectations of people.
During an interview with Finland's Turun Sanomat newspaper Raikkonen refused to draw comparisons with the 2009 season, when he struggled with his Ferrari and left the Maranello team at the end of the year.
"I have no desire to make comparisons like that and it doesn't change anything anyway," Raikkonen told Turun Sanomat.
"For sure it has not been an ideal start, but we improved the car for Malaysia and the weekend started well even if it finished badly.
"Without the accident I see no reason why I shouldn't have done the same as Alonso.
"We're getting some new parts that should help me, at least that is the plan.
"The front end should feel better."
With regards to new parts, Alonso agreed with Raikkonen, revealing to Autosport that they are well-aware of the areas Ferrari need to progress in if they are to catch Mercedes and the improving Red Bull.
"Traction was not good enough," Alonso told Autosport the performance in Malaysia.
"Out of the corners we were losing ground.
"We compare our traction with probably the best traction car out there, which is the Red Bull, so maybe it was more or less expected this deficit.
"With the top speed it's not secret we are not comparable with the Mercedes.
"They've been fastest in Australia, fastest in the [Bahrain] test, fastest here. I think we have some work to do.
"Obviously for Bahrain, there is not much to do because in a few days we are in the car again, but for China and Spain I think it's very clear what we need to bring to the car and we will do.
"We will improve, that's for sure. We've only done two races. We are analysing deeply the areas we need to.
"They seem clear to us and we will put a lot of effort to improve the car and run as soon as possible at the level of Mercedes and Red Bull. The hope is still perfectly there."