McLaren drivers Jenson Button and Sergio Perez have admitted that their team faces a tough task in this weekend's Australian Grand Prix.
Button was ninth fastest in FP1 but slipped to eleventh in FP2.
"Clearly, we’re not as quick as we’d like to be, so our task now is to work hard to find out why our car is like it is, particularly in terms of ride and downforce," he said.
"Our short runs weren’t particularly encouraging, to be honest. We’re a couple of seconds off the pace, by the looks of things, and that’s always going to be disappointing."
"Qualifying won’t be easy, but I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to do a better job on Saturday than we’ve done today."
Perez was only eleventh and thirteenth in the two practice sessions.
"We’re struggling a bit, to be honest. We aren’t as competitive here as we’d wanted to be," added the Mexican.
Team principal Martin Whitmarsh also conceded that his squad is struggling.
"Our car appears to be lacking in grip and consistency, and is suffering from significant understeer and poor ride," he said.