Ferrari was "scared" to push its drivers during the Japanese Grand Prix, due to a key weakness that has impacted the SF-23 throughout the season.
The team finished fourth and sixth in the race, after Carlos Sainz stayed out an extra few laps in his second stint due them experiencing less tyre degradation than expected on a day it was the third quickest car behind Max Verstappen and the McLarens.
Sainz admitted the team played it safe when they employed a contra-strategy to cover off Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso in the race, with boss Frederic Vasseur echoing those thoughts as tyre concerns struck the team.
Team Principal, Frederic Vasseur, shared similar thoughts when speaking to media including RacingNews365: "It was a step forward compared to the beginning of the season. But on the other hand, we were probably a bit too conservative," he said.
"It was true for everybody in the race that we were more scared than the reality. But it was okay, it was under control all of the race and we think we did a good step forward."
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Ferrari notably did a lot of setup work at the races in Zandvoort and Monza to understand its car package, which is a partially a reason that helped enabled it to end Red Bull's win streak in Singapore.
Vasseur believes the team has worked hard to understand some of the limitations of their current package, which has led to better tyre management during the races.
"If you ever look at the first couple of races of the season, the tyre management was not always our biggest skill," he explained.
"So coming to Suzuka with this track temperature we were a bit at risk, but at the end of the day I think we did a good job on that side.
"The strategy was well managed and we did well, so a clear step forward compared to the start of the season."