Carlos Sainz believes Ferrari entering the Qatar Grand Prix "scared" contributed to the team failing to maximise its potential result.
The Spaniard finished seventh, a place ahead of team-mate Charles Leclerc in a race dominated by tyre failures, with high wear and aggressive kerbs seemingly compromising the Pirelli construction.
Degradation was expected to be high entering the weekend due to the coarse track surface at the Losail International Circuit, a prediction proven correct during practice.
Sainz suggested the result for Ferrari could have been even better, despite the Scuderia taking a giant stride towards securing third in the constructors' standings over McLaren.
"It is not exactly what we wanted but we went into the race quite scared about the tyre wear from Friday and we had to drive quite conservatively with the tyres because we know we eat the front tyres," explained Sainz.
"We did a strong first stint on the medium, we managed to make it quite long into the race but with the hard, we were far too conservative.
"The hard was a much better tyre allowing you to push and maybe we were saving the tyre too much until at one point I said 'I think there is plenty of tyre left, I am going to push'.
"I was catching [Lance] Stroll but unfortunately there was Stroll with DRS from [Esteban] Ocon and we couldn't make it but we had strong pace at the end."