Kimi Raikkonen believes Ferrari has the strength to catch and overhaul rivals Mercedes provided it continues to be patient and continue in its positive direction.

Following a lean year in 2014, Ferrari has returned to form so far in 2015, with Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen proving Mercedes' most convincing rival during the opening three races.

Though Vettel couldn't repeat his Malaysian Grand Prix success in China, both the German and team-mate Raikkonen kept Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg honest in the ambient weather conditions.

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It is this upward trajectory that makes Raikkonen excited about Ferrari's future and though he says he isn't expecting miracles overnight, he believes the team has the means to put up a fight with Mercedes.

"I don't see a reason why [we can't challenge Mercedes]," he said. "We have already made big gains and we will make big gains during this year. Obviously everybody will improve so it depends what the rest are doing, but it definitely shows we are going in the right way and doing the right things.

"It is just being patient, we need time, we cannot make miracles overnight. Sebastian showed we can win, but it depends, one circuit is better for one team and the next could be a different story.

"We need to be up there when something happens to them, or the conditions change. I really feel as speed we will get there to regularly beat them."