Stefano Domenicali is adamant Ferrari will be one of the last teams standing in this year's Championship fights.
Ferrari headed towards the front of the pack during testing at Barcelona where Fernando Alonso was second quickest overall while his team-mate Felipe Massa was fourth.
But despite the Italian stable showing an impressive turn of pace, team boss Domenicali says no one will have any idea of the true pecking order until next Saturday's qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix.
"To think of drawing conclusions after the first qualifying session in Australia would be premature because it represents only the beginning of a long voyage that ends in November," he said.
"For many reasons, however, it can be considered an important test bench to establish the state of play.
"I expect that the teams who finished in the top positions in Sao Paulo will repeat that in Melbourne, probably with a reduced advantage - that's what we are all hoping for, anyway."
The team boss is convinced that Ferrari have made a step forward from last year, highlighting several aspects.
"The new business structure, the working methods, the modifications to the equipment that we have used to work on this car, the consistency of the results compared with our targets and what we saw in the recent tests - these all seem to tell us that we are on the right path at last compared to the past.
"So, to make an analysis that is purely centred on ourselves, unless someone else has done an exceptional job I'm convinced that Ferrari will be in the battle to the end."
And in order to be in the fight at the end, Domenicali says his team needs to be in the top three come next Sunday.
"A podium in Australia would be a good base on which to build the kind of successes we need.
"What's more, apart from the actual performance of the car, our work in the wind tunnel is an element that gives us faith in the area of aerodynamics, where 90 percent of the performance comes from, so we can work with a certain calmness.
"The stability of the rules is another guarantee that there won't be surprises with any exceptional creative solutions that make a big difference, and I'm especially confident given the changes we made last year."
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