MONTMELÓ: Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were left lamenting another day of disappointment for Ferrari on Sunday after they struggled to finish 12th and fifth respectively in the Spanish Grand Prix.

Leclerc, who had hoped to mount a title challenge this year, is 128 points adrift of defending champion Max Verstappen in seventh place and on Sunday struggled to make any impact after starting from the pitlane.

“It’s another bad day,“ he admitted. “We have had quite a few this year and, unfortunately, this is just in line with the rest of the year...”

The Monegasque lost confidence in his car in qualifying, when he failed to progress from Q3 on Saturday, and started the race from the pitlane.

He said: “For some reason we seem never to get in the right window of the tyre and when we do, it’s a bit of a surprise to us... So, there’s a lot of work we need to do.”

He added that his car’s tyres and overall performance was over-sensitive to changes in conditions and he ended up “under-steering like crazy” in Sunday’s race.

“We have to go back and analyse this to find a solution,“ he said.

Team-mate Sainz, who was unable to take advantage of starting from the front row of the grid alongside Verstappen, said the team had embarked on using a package of upgrades without first understanding them.

He was beaten easily for pace by his rival front-runners as both Mercedes and Sergio Perez, in the second Red Bull, passed him.

“We’ve identified our weaknesses and we know exactly where we are lacking,“ Sainz told Sky F1. “The feedback is there and the intention is there, but we need time.

“Mercedes proved they’ve done a good step and that’s a good reference. We have to try our best and push flat out back at Maranello.

“We probably put on our upgrade at the worst possible circuit for us.” -AFP