Felipe Massa believes it will be difficult for Ferrari to catch Brawn GP after the former Honda team scored a resounding one-two in the opening race of the Formula 1 season in Australia.
The Brazilian, who was forced to retire from 11th position after struggling through the race with a compromised strategy, said that it would not be the work of a moment to bridge the gap to Brawn.
"We need to improve very quickly the car," said the 2008 runner-up.
"But in my experience when we see a car that is one second in front, to improve one second from one day to another is very difficult.
"I don't know if it is possible," he added. "When you are three or four tenths behind it is always possible, but if it is a second then it is quite difficult."
Massa told reporters in Australia that he believed Ferrari were in the mix of the chasing pack to Brawn GP, but the team's true competitive was hard to measure given the trouble they had making the tyres work for them in Melbourne.
"On the soft tyres we were struggling, on the hard tyre we were struggling a lot to get the tyres working," explained Massa. "If you take the whole race, we had the Brawn which was on another planet, then we had the Red Bull - Vettel was quite strong, quite a good pace, maybe a bit better than us.
"Then we had Kubica who was also competitive. I think we are in the middle of these teams. We are competitive, we can be a little bit more, we expect to be more to be honest.
"I think this track is also difficult, there is no grip so with the soft tyres you destroy them quickly. You have the very good grip but you destroy them quickly. The hard tyres doesn't work, it's difficult to get them working especially after the safety car.
"You saw many people struggling completely. Especially with our car on this type of surface grip and together with the tyres it was very difficult to make it work."