Sebastian Vettel says he had a "decent" first day in Malaysia but had hoped to be further up the timesheets.
The reigning World Champion's season did not get off the best start last time out in Australia with Vettel recently admitting that while there is nothing fundamentally wrong with their RB8, they could do with some more track time to fine tune it.
Track time was one thing they did have on Friday as the forecast rain failed to materialise at the Sepang circuit, giving all the teams the full three hours to work on their cars.
And although Vettel 46 laps throughout the day, the German only managed the tenth best time, finishing 1.230s adrift of Lewis Hamilton's P1 time.
"I'm not entirely happy maybe," the 24-year-old said. "This afternoon I would have liked to have been further up but it is one lap you are looking at.
"All in all we had decent running today - but there is still a lot to do.
"I am not entirely happy yet but it is not as if we expected that all our problems would be solved within three hours today.
"The run was not perfect because otherwise we would have been higher up, but before that and after that it was quite okay.
"It was a one-off and didn't use the tyre as much as we should have. So I am not entirely happy yet."
Asked whether pole position was within reach, Vettel said: "It is hard to say. McLaren looked very strong today, morning and afternoon."
However, over a race distance he reckons Red Bull have closed the gap on the Australian GP winners.
"I haven't seen the long runs, I think we are closer by the looks of it in long-run pace so we will see what we can do."