Fernando Alonso has laughed off suggestions that Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa has the upper hand in qualifying now.
The Spanish driver has not qualified ahead of the Brazilian since last year's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and if Massa manages the feat again this weekend in China it would be the first time Alonso has been outqualified five times in a row in Formula 1.
Alonso conceded Massa was back at his best now, but made it clear he was far from worried about the situation.
"I haven't slept since Australia. I'm only eating white rice. I'm losing my hair. A huge drama," joked Alonso when asked about his qualifying defeats in a press conference with Spanish reporters.
"After 200 races, it's very surprising that two qualifying sessions matter so much. I'm pleased that it's so important, because it means that when I finish ahead of him it will mean I have done an stratospheric lap.
"We'll see if I can pull that magic here or later this year..."
Alonso added: "He's doing a fantastic job. It's true that for these calculations you are using strange numbers, with races from last year, races from this year.
"In Australia qualifying was with dry tyres on a wet track, in Malaysia we qualified with inters on a dry track, so I don't think they were completely normal tracks."
The two-time champion, who retired from the Malaysian Grand Prix after contact with Sebastian Vettel at the start, believes qualifying strongly has become less important since Pirelli returned to F1.
"Qualifying this year is less important. It has been losing importance year after year," Alonso said.
"There were years when it was vital to start from the first row or from pole position, but since Pirelli arrived qualifying has become less and less important.
"In the first two races of the season Kimi [Raikkonen] won pretty easily in Australia starting from seventh and anyone could have won in Malaysia. But there is a tendency for qualifying to become less important."