Ferrari has conceded that the upgrades it brought to the Styrian Grand Prix have not improved the car from last weekend.
The team's original plan was to bring a major upgrade to Hungary at the third round of the year, however the Italian squad opted to fast-track its plan following a difficult opening event at the Red Bull Ring.
Ferrari failed to optimise the wet weather conditions that were present at the track yesterday, with its disappointing pace remaining consistent from last week.
“We have to accept that the stopwatch doesn’t ever lie,” said Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto.
“In two qualifying sessions, albeit in different conditions, we have not been competitive, not only against those who have been our closest rivals over the past few years, but also against others, who up to yesterday were generally behind us.
“We worked very hard to bring updates to the car earlier than planned, but they didn’t show their worth on track.
“We have to work out why and change this state of affairs, which is just not good enough for a team by the name of Ferrari. We mustn’t get het up about it, but we cannot ignore the facts.”
On Friday practice in Styria, Vettel noted a considerable difference to the car, saying it was incomparable to last week as the improvement in handling was so big
Despite Ferrari's poor performance, Leclerc managed to score a podium finish during a race of attrition last weekend, crossing the line in second place.
The Monegasque driver's prospects of repeating such a result were dampened by his low finish during qualifying and the situation was made worse after he was handed a three-place grid penalty for impeding Daniil Kvyat during qualifying
Leclerc says that “he paid the price” for focusing on an aggressive set up on Friday which didn't perform well in the rain, however he expects his race pace to be stronger.
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing