Carlos Sainz has claimed Ferrari has 'achieved its main target' for the season despite appearing set to fall short of Red Bull in the F1 championship standings.
Prior to this year, Ferrari's recent history has been torrid, enjoying few wins in stark contrast to its dominance of the early 2000s.
The team has returned to its position as a frontrunner this term but through reliability issues, strategic problems and driver errors, it has fallen considerably off the pace of Red Bull and championship-leader Max Verstappen.
Despite this, Sainz believes Ferrari can be relatively satisfied with what it has so far achieved to a certain degree.
“For us, it was still a first half of the season where we saw a lot of positives, like achieving our main target in getting back to the point where we are fighting Red Bull for wins and Mercedes in the championship," said Sainz.
“It is true the car has been really competitive and we probably could have won more races if we would have done things a bit more perfect.”
Ferrari has to be perfect in Mercedes battle - Sainz
Ferrari has extended its points gap to third-placed Mercedes by five in the three races since the summer shutdown, opening up a 35-point cushion, although is 139 behind Red Bull.
Sainz, though, is cautious of the threat being posed by the eight-time consecutive constructors' champions in what is effectively now the battle for best-of-the-rest.
“We clearly need to be more perfect in order to beat the Red Bulls and now the Mercs now that they seem to be getting up to speed," added Sainz.
"It is super-clear for us there are teams that are performing at a high level.
“You cannot put a foot wrong because the moment you put a foot wrong, they beat you."