Kimi Raikkonen says that Ferrari will be back to their dominant Melbourne pace in this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix now that his car has been fitted with a fresh engine.
The Australian GP winner was compromised by the need to protect his V8 at Sepang after a water leak had caused the engine to overheat in the closing stages of the season-opener.
"We will get a new fresh engine for Bahrain," said Raikkonen. "That makes me feel very optimistic.
"When we have our whole package working 100%, we should be back to the same speed as what we had in Melbourne.
"Before the season we had a good test at Sakhir circuit. For sure, McLaren has improved since that, but at least we should be able to challenge them better than in Sepang.
"You never know before the weekend how it will go. F1 moves on so amazingly quickly and so many things can happen during the race, also.
"I just expect that we are in a better shape than we were last Sunday. The team makes everything they can to get us back to the winning speed."
Raikkonen admitted that the pressure to conserve his engine in Malaysia made it hard to keep his motivation up.
"Because of the engine worries we had to make a compromise after a compromise," he said.
"That put us in a position where we did not want to be. All the time we had to play on the safe side with that engine and there were also some other technical issues that we were not able to do as we would usually want to do.
"I always want to fight for the victory. That is why I felt a little bit disappointed and empty inside when I had to race just in a way to be able to finish it.
"It is like playing a football game defending a goalless draw."