Nico Rosberg has rejected suggestions Mercedes has doubled its advantage over the pack and believes Ferrari has "definitely closed the gap", particularly in terms of race pace.

Mercedes dominated in Australia, with Lewis Hamilton and Rosberg finishing 1-2, more than 30 seconds up on Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari in third.

However, Rosberg played down talk on Thursday that Mercedes looks even more dominant this season.

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"I don't think it is right to say that," he told reporters ahead this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix, round two in F1 2015.

"Of course qualifying pace was very strong, yes [in Australia]. But more important is the race pace and especially from Kimi [Raikkonen] we saw some extremely strong stints, so, not really fair to say that. I would say that, Ferrari especially, have definitely closed the gap and are closer than our nearest rival was last year."

Pressed on if the gap might be smaller at Sepang, Rosberg added: "It is very difficult to say. It is early days. We need to wait and see how it goes here."

Meanwhile, Rosberg said that while qualifying will be important if he wants to beat his team-mate on Sunday, he also thinks that there will be more strategic options if he does happen to start behind.

"Qualifying is definitely important, yeah, in this internal battle, especially since we have the same cars," explained Rosberg, who was wearing a black arm band in mark of respect to those that died in the German Airbus A320 plane crash this week. "But it is not everything.

"We have seen in the past, even in races, by playing around with the tyre order and things like that, it is still possible to overtake. This weekend there might be more leeway with the strategy to try and launch a better attack."