Pierre Gasly feels that AlphaTauri "aren't missing much" in terms of performance as the Italian squad head to their home race at Imola next week.
After retiring from the season opener in Bahrain, Gasly has finished in the low points positions in the last two races.
The French driver claimed ninth in Australia, taking two points, but the season so far suggests that AlphaTauri have taken a step back and could struggle to replicate their sixth place Constructors' Championship result from 2021.
With AlphaTauri currently in eighth, the plan is to introduce new parts to the AT03 for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – a plan that Gasly is hopeful will help them take a step closer to the battle to be 'best of the rest' behind the leading three teams.
AlphaTauri "not missing much" with their 2022 car
"We should have a couple of new parts on the car," Gasly told media, including RacingNews365.com, after the Australian race.
"It's not like we are dead slow, I still managed to get a good start running in P9 behind Esteban [Ocon].
"After that, we just got unlucky with the Safety Car and dropped to 14th. So from there, obviously, it's difficult.
"I don't think we are missing much. But we definitely need to come with some developments if we want to keep up with the other guys."
Viewed by others:
Gasly: We can be pleased with two points
While Gasly got used to finishing in much higher points positions during 2021, with a podium in Azerbaijan and fourth places in the Netherlands and Mexico the highlights of his year, ninth is still enough of a result to give him a reason to smile.
Gasly pointed to how the season is likely to be one where the relentless development of the cars means the balance of power shifts between teams throughout the year.
"It's only the third race of the year," he went on to comment.
"The car is gonna develop over the next few weeks. I trust in the team and I trust in the upgrades that they're gonna bring.
"I think this weekend overall, compared to our main competitors, it's been slightly harder. McLaren made a big step forward, Alpine as well, but I think we can be pleased with these two points, especially considering the unlucky timing with the Safety Car."
New updates are "a big test" for AlphaTauri
Gasly explained that he's "very excited" to see where the new updates bring the performance of the AlphaTauri.
"It's obviously new cars, new regulations – we know that this season is all about development," he explained.
"The teams that are going to manage to develop the cars faster than others will have a better season.
"I think it's a big test for us as a team and, hopefully, it brings the performance we expect."
F1 Podcast: Can fast but fragile Red Bull respond to Leclerc's charge?
RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken, Mike Seymour and Thomas Maher look back over the Australian Grand Prix, where Ferrari's Charles Leclerc triumphed and Red Bull's Max Verstappen retired.