Fernando Alonso says that Ferrari still needs to bring a more competitive car to the Japanese Grand Prix, despite salvaging third place in Singapore.
The world championship leader was concerned all weekend that his Ferrari was not on the pace of main rivals McLaren and Red Bull.
Alonso was still able to beat Red Bull's Mark Webber and benefited from Lewis Hamilton retiring his McLaren from the lead to finish third behind Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button.
That result keeps Alonso's championship lead at 29 points over Vettel.
But Alonso does not believe that will be sufficient with six races to go, unless Ferrari improves.
"This year is a bit difficult to predict, but we need to improve the performance we saw here," Alonso said.
"Positions five and 13 [on the grid] for our cars is not what we are hoping for. We need to be in a better position at Suzuka."
Alonso acknowledged that considering his machinery, Singapore had to be considered as a positive weekend.
"Monza was reasonable in the race and Sebastian retired, and here Sebastian won and Lewis retired so for me it is OK if they keep doing it like this," he said.
"Of the four or five contenders we lost points to one, and with the others we gained an advantage.
"When we are not quick enough, to get points over three of our opponents was good."