Kimi Raikkonen has stated that neither he nor team-mate Felipe Massa will be able to challenge for the 2009 world championship.
Ferrari this year kicked off its worst start to a season since 1992, but after just two races in 2009, Finn Raikkonen says it is not realistic to hope to recover and mount a title bid.
"We're never going to be in a position to win the championship (this year) but hopefully we can improve the car and try to win some races later on this season, that's the realistic aim," the 29-year-old told the BBC in Shanghai.
Team boss Stefano Domenicali agrees, arguing that with the diffuser row settled against Ferrari's favour, 'the championship is taking a very clear direction' with the original diffuser teams 'flying away.'
Ferrari's Italian boss also defended Raikkonen, amid suggestions his attitude is too complacent.
For example, when mechanics were readying his car amid the Malaysia downpour two weeks ago, the Finn was dressed in shorts, drinking a coke and eating ice-cream.
"No, we had a problem with KERS," Domenicali said. "Because we had time, we tried to understand the problem, but it was not possible to go (back) out."
Chinese GP - Sunday - Team Quote
Kimi Raikkonen (10th): "In the early stages, it wasn't too bad but then, after my stop, I lost grip from the tyres and I was no longer able to push as hard as I wanted, because it meant the car was sliding a lot. A few times, the engine seemed to lose power, especially when I found myself close behind other cars, but then the problem went away on its own. Clearly the championship situation looks very difficult. We have made mistakes and we are not quick enough. In Barcelona, when we will have new aero parts, we should be able to pick up some of the grip we are lacking now. I am sure we can be competitive enough to win again but this work will take time. The team is motivated, I'm sure of that and we will all do our bit. Now it is easy to criticize, but we know how to turn things round."