Max Verstappen believes Red Bull's new RB13 isn't good enough yet to fight for an outright win when the season gets underway next weekend in Melbourne.
Much is expected of the team's new-spec challenger given the emphasis this year on aerodynamics, an area where Red Bull Racing typically shines thanks in no small part to the genius of design guru Adrian Newey.
"We still have to wait and see how good we really are," Verstappen told Dutch outlet De Telegraaf.
"Personally, I don't think we can fight for the win at the moment. Much can change during the course of the season, but we are not good enough yet to win.
Echoing the opinion of his team mate Daniel Ricciardo, the 19-year-old Red Bull driver is impressed with Ferrari's performance to date although he still sees Mercedes as the ultimate target to catch and beat.
"Ferrari have been fast in previous years as well," he said.
"However, this year you could tell they've made quite a step forward from last year - they will certainly fight for wins.
"Mercedes will always be right there - I think they probably sandbagged a bit. It's been that way for the last couple of years.
"For us, it is hard to tell where we are. I don't think we are the best team yet, but we will have to wait and see.
"After qualifying in Australia, we will know our pure performance. We won't be going there with the idea we can go for pole.
"At the moment, I think both Ferrari and Mercedes will be in front of us, but hopefully we will be able to get into a rhythm, just like last year.
"We can do better this year, but we need to work hard in order to get there."