Carlos Sainz was left baffled by how Ferrari failed to "get things right" after watching points evaporate during the Portuguese Grand Prix.
The Spanish driver had started fifth after out-qualifying team-mate Charles Leclerc for the first time this season but slipped down the order during his second stint as he struggled for performance on the medium compound tyres.
Before dropping to 11th by the chequered flag Sainz had been battling former McLaren team-mate Lando Norris for a place in the top five but pointed to his attempted undercut as the moment his race unravelled.
"It was looking decent up until lap 24," he said. "We were putting pressure on Lando, looking for the undercut but unfortunately, we didn't make it stick.
"We exited [the pits] behind a Williams, I had to push really hard to try and do the undercut and I opened up the graining on the medium tyre.
"We were the first ones to stop and put the medium tyre on but it was not performing on our car. We opened the graining and from there on we went backwards.
"We know how sensitive these tyres are to this kind of pushing and this kind of effect.
"It is part of the learning curve, you need to go through these kinds of weekends to improve. Honestly, the race pace looked good all weekend and I don't think the race pace was the issue.
"We just got it wrong with the strategy and the pushing and we didn't get things right today."
Sainz had a new set of hard tyres available for use, as did his main competitors, but suggested the pre-race strategy had determined the medium to be the stronger race tyre.
"The option was always there but we thought the medium was going to behave better," added Sainz.
"We know how important those three laps at the beginning of each stint are and I pushed like hell to try and get the undercut.
"Clearly, in hindsight, it was too much pushing too early and trying too hard to get one position and maybe we shouldn't have gone for it."
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