"But we are still unoptimised in the areas we need to be, which comes from our own knowledge of where they are not as good as what they should be," he continued. "So we still have some work to do on the car, but it's a long season."
"We took the decision to make a lot of changes and knew that to some extent that would put us back a little bit, but we were hoping to get on top of that before the first race," agreed Whitmarsh. "As of today, we are still undoubtedly struggling. That is something we need to gather good information on and work through it this weekend.
"As I said a couple of weeks ago, our car is complex," he said. "Perhaps we haven't yet worked out how best to harness its potential, but we believe that potential is there."
Whether that potential can be tapped in time to salvage the Australian Grand Prix for them should come clear tomorrow when the teams head into the first qualifying session of the year.