Ferrari sporting director Laurent Mekies has revealed Ferrari knew it would endure a 2020 season of suffering as early as the Barcelona pre-season test.
The Scuderia struggled to make an impression during the season, finishing sixth in the constructors' championship - its worst showing for 40 years - and with lead driver Charles Leclerc only eighth in the drivers' standings.
Mekies has provided an insight into how the team was left in the dark as to how it could recover from an obvious deficiency in the SF-1000 as soon as it hit the track in February at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya.
"In Barcelona, we quickly realised that we had serious concerns about some of the aspects of the performance of the car," said Mekies.
"It is very difficult to see what it means in terms of how you are going to be with the other guys but you know things are not going the way they should.
"We knew it was going to be very difficult. We didn't know at the time how long it was going to be for us to understand that fully and even less to fix them."
The gap between the test in Spain and the first race was widened due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with the traditional season-opener in Melbourne cancelled and moved to Austria in July.
Mekies explained that the factory closures during the lockdown period in March and April exacerbated the problems the Scuderia faced to try and catch up to the frontrunners.
"We went to that pain stage where we were affected by Covid and we couldn't touch or run the car for a few months," he added.
"I guess there were indications there, in terms of questions that the season would be really difficult, as it turned out to be."
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