Nico Hulkenberg has questioned his Haas team over its lack of Formula 1 upgrades this season, believing the team's slump was "inevitable."
The VF-23 has been plagued by high tyre degradation all season, limiting the opportunities for Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen to score points - with just one point finish in a Grand Prix since Miami, although Hulkenberg did score in the Austria Sprint race.
A huge upgrade package was brought to the team's home race in the United States, but limited data was gathered on another Sprint weekend - but it failed to yield results in the Mexico City Grand Prix weekend.
Hulkenberg was on the cusp of points following a strong start but ultimately faded while Magnussen crashed with suspension failure as the team slipped to last in the Constructors' after a big haul of points for AlphaTauri.
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Hulkenberg critical of Haas
"It's inevitable. We're paying a price for not bringing upgrades, for not finding performance," Hulkenberg told media including RacingNews365.
"Hopefully it is a wake-up call to everybody in the factory because at this rate, you just can't compete in F1."
Hulkenberg also conceded that Haas's old-spec car could have been a better option for Mexico, with its abundance of low-speed corners.
"If the old spec had any real good characteristics, it was more or less competitive in the low speed, and this track is obviously low-speed dominated," he added.
"I don't know, I have a feeling that maybe the old-spec would have been better here, but obviously it is a one-way street for us with the future."
Team Principal Guenther Steiner heaped praise on Hulkenberg in his 200th Grand Prix start for his efforts in nearly bagging a point.
"Nico was in a good position to get points, but then with the red flag, which we caused ourselves, we couldn’t keep the tyres [alive] in the last stint," he said.
"Our car can’t keep life in the tyres as other cars can, we could fight for almost the whole distance, but almost isn’t good enough.
"Otherwise, it seems like the whole team performed well and Nico drove fantastically to try and get something."
Steiner also confirmed that Magnussen's suspension failure was likely caused by a heat-related issue which broke the suspension.