Ferrari is struggling to understand the inconsistencies between its car's qualifying and race pace after it delivered a “mixed result” in Portugal.
McLaren driver Lando Norris claimed a best-of-the-rest fifth spot behind F1 title rivals Mercedes and Red Bull after Carlos Sainz's season-high fifth in qualifying ended in a points-less finish, while Charles Leclerc was sixth.
The team suffered a notable drop in pace between qualifying and the race at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, an issue for which answers are still being sought after the performance in Portimão.
Asked whether the car is as consistent in qualifying as it is in the race, team principal Mattia Binotto said: “I think that in Bahrain this wasn’t the case, mainly because of overheating. That is something we analysed and we understood the reasons.
“In Imola, it’s difficult to say. It was a wet race but from what we’ve seen, we were certainly as competitive in the race as in quail.
“Now, the situation in Portugal, I think the first stint of Carlos on the soft he was as competitive as Norris if not better, but that was not the case in the second stint with the medium.
“So it’s a mixed result that needs to be analysed so we can understand. I don’t think there is a clear conclusion yet.”
Sainz was disappointed not to be able to deliver on the promise he had shown in the Saturday qualifying session, and said the challenges were down to significant graining on the tyres.
With the team now preparing for this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix, Sainz will be hoping for a much-improved performance in what will be his first home race while driving for Ferrari.
“Clearly the hard was a stronger tyre," assessed Sainz. "We struggled a lot with the medium and we still have to understand why we were so prone to graining on that tyre.
“In hindsight we would have done things differently but with the data we had available we thought [our] strategy would be okay. It clearly wasn’t, and we have a lot to analyse and go through.”