Sebastian Vettel is sure that he can make progress at the Russian Grand Prix but accepts Ferrari must make improvements following a grid penalty due to an unscheduled gearbox change.
Ferrari has emerged once more as Mercedes' primary challenger in 2016, but Vettel was seven-tenths adrift of Nico Rosberg in qualifying at Sochi, and will drop to seventh due to his penalty.
"We will start seventh which is not where we belong, so we should be quicker than the other cars around and go from there," he said.
"We are not the favourites, but there's always a chance. I hope not to get it wrong this time. For sure we need to start improving as soon as possible, that's why we are pushing very hard.
"We are doing everything we can, we have a new engine here, and I think we are on the right way, but we still see that other people, especially Mercedes, are doing a good job as well.
"If you want to be the best you need to be ready to tackle the best. I have high confidence, but let's keep our feet on the ground. It is easy to get overexcited and for sure now we would like to be first, but that's the nature of the game."
Team-mate Kimi Raikkonen will start from third place on the grid after being edged out by Williams' Valtteri Bottas in Q3.
"The whole weekend has been tricky: for whatever reason, I struggled all the time to put one decent lap together," he rued.
"In qualifying it was a bit better, but I was still fighting with the front end in a few places."