Daniel Ricciardo has conceded he had "no fight" during the Spanish Grand Prix.
The Australian struggled for grip throughout the 66-lap race held in searing heat at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya that yielded an optimum three-stop strategy.
Ricciardo set off on a plan only replicated by Mick Schumacher by pitting from softs to softs at the end of the opening stint but was unable to make his way back into the points-scoring positions.
Recounting his race, Ricciardo said: "[It was] a long afternoon. One of the longer ones I have had in recent times.
"It wasn't like there was a slow stint, it was a slow race from the start but one where I just couldn't use any grip. If I tried to use it I was just sliding and slow so I tried to be conservative on the tyres and I had to be too slow to do that.
"[I] Simply was operating on a lower level of grip to everyone. I am sure everyone complained because it was hot and kind of poor track conditions in terms of the heat but in the midfield fight, I had no fight."
McLaren "nowhere" from start
Ricciardo had qualified ninth and ahead of ill team-mate Lando Norris, but by the end of the race the roles had been reversed.
But explaining he knew from the start he would be in for a painful afternoon, Ricciardo added: "I got up to eighth on lap one, there were a few things going on around me, [Lewis] Hamilton getting a puncture on the first lap.
"So we were in a relatively good track position but already, I think from lap three, I knew I was going to be doing some defending pretty soon.
"But then we knew it was going to be two or three stops so I thought maybe we would pit and get some more pace on a new set of tyres but we were kind of nowhere from the start to the end."
Additional reporting by Sam Hall