Honda's Jenson Button was deflated by the superiority of the Renaults that beat him into third place in the Malaysian Grand Prix.
1 G Fisichella (Renault)
2 F Alonso (Renault)
3 J Button (Honda)
4 JP Montoya (McLaren)
5 F Massa (Ferrari)
6 M Schumacher (Ferrari)
7 J Villeneuve (BMW Sauber)
8 R Schumacher (Toyota)
"I'm pleased to see us on the podium but it's the top step we had in mind. We want to be winning races," he said.
"That's the maximum I could get out of the car, we were on the limit in every lap. We have a bit of work to do.
"There was no point in the race where we could have gone any quicker... They pulled away so quickly at the start."
Button, who started second on the grid, was encouraged that Honda appeared to be Renault's closest rivals after the first two races of the season.
But he was unable to keep pace with winner Giancarlo Fisichella and was passed for second by world champion Fernando Alonso, who started seventh.
Button was under no illusions about how difficult it will be to win his long-awaited first race.
"The pace of the Renaults is very good," he said. "At the moment, it looks as though we are their closest rivals but we are not on their pace. Hopefully, we will not let them get away."
"The car is not where we wanted or expected it to be and we have to make a step forward in a couple of places.
"I've got an idea where we're losing out to them, but I'm going to keep that to myself.
"We've just got to hope we solve the issues we've got in testing next week and move forward because somebody needs to challenge them."
Alonso said his second place in Malaysia had given him even more pleasure than his win in the opening race in Bahrain last weekend.
That was because the drivers he expects to be his main championship rivals - Ferrari's Michael Schumacher and McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen - had lost a lot of ground to him.
"To finish on the podium means to be consistent for the championship if I want to win it again," Alonso said.
"This race is more important than the first race to me because the points gap to Raikkonen and Michael has opened.
"Probably this is my favourite circuit, I've always been quick here and there seems to be something special with this track."