Championship leader Nico Rosberg says that Red Bull remains the benchmark in 2014, despite the reigning champions sitting 97 points behind Mercedes after the opening four races of the year.
Rosberg, who claimed victory in Australia, reckons Mercedes still needs to improve as a team if they are to maintain their current advantage.
"Very recently Red Bull was still the benchmark and is still the benchmark as a team - I don't think it changes that quickly - so we need to be careful and keep on improving ourselves, which we are doing, to keep our advantage or even extend it," Rosberg is quoted by Sky Sports.
"The target needs to be to extend it, that's going to be very ambitious, but that needs to be the target. At least keep our advantage and I'm optimistic that we can achieve that."
Rosberg also believes that the 'huge' development rate in 2014 makes it easier for rival teams to catch up with Mercedes if they slip up.
"This year it's a development race which is much more extreme than we've seen in recent years because the regulations are so new," he said. "When the regulations are new the development curve just goes straight up for the first period and then it flattens off at some point once you can't really find so much more.
"But in the beginning the teams are learning so much...it's really important to keep on it because the chances for the teams behind us to catch up are much bigger than, for example, if we were being in the same situation last year because the development is just going to be huge this year."