Carlos Sainz believes Ferrari face a "negative" going into Sunday's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix despite a superb recovery drive during the Imola sprint event.
The Spanish driver was on the back foot going into the 21-lap race after crashing out of qualifying in Q2 and starting from 10th on the grid.
But Sainz powered his way to fourth after making notable overtakes on Alpine's Fernando Alonso, Kevin Magnussen in his Haas and McLaren duo Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris.
At the front, however, team-mate Charles Leclerc suffered from graining on his front tyres that saw the sprint victory slip from his grasp, allowing Max Verstappen to claim top spot on the grid for the race.
Assessing the 100-kilometre sprint, Sainz said: "We made up the maximum places we could.
"It was a solid race, no issues, getting to learn the car, keep learning the car in the dry because we have done very few laps.
"It was a positive race, the only negative is that it seems the Red Bulls have a better race pace than us here.
"We are going to need to find some pace in the dry if we want to put up a fight with them."
On where the improvements need to come from to battle Red Bull on Sunday, Sainz added: "A bit of driving, a bit of maybe fine-tuning with the settings of the car we can tune.
"There are not many but we will try our best and see how we can erase this front-right graining that seemed to penalise us more than the Red Bull."