Charles Leclerc has conceded Ferrari may need a "completely new car" to solve the issues that have prevented a championship challenge this season.
The Scuderia began F1's latest technical regulatory era at the front of the field as Leclerc raced to a championship lead last term, only for Red Bull and Max Verstappen to ultimately overhaul the deficit.
Hopes were high for a retaliation from the Maranello-based outfit this term but a number of different issues have left major fluctuations in performance from track to track across the campaign, leaving Ferrari battling Mercedes for second in the Constructors' standings.
A win for Carlos Sainz at the Singapore Grand Prix and Leclerc's strong pace for fourth at the Japanese Grand Prix pointed to some issues being fixed, though the difference in form compared to other races since the summer break does leave doubts.
"Honestly, it has been like this since the beginning of the season - sometimes the track works a little bit better and sometimes a little bit less," Leclerc told media including RacingNews365.com.
"I wouldn't say that it is a breakthrough because the issues of the car are still there.
"I think we maybe need a completely new car to get rid of it and that is the target for next year."
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Leclerc has struggled to put his stamp on the car this term with set-up issues taking him out of a comfortable driving style.
"I am working quite a bit on it," he revealed.
"At the moment our car... it is not that it cannot be oversteery, but when it is it is extremely inconsistent, so we have to drive it on the understeery side.
"So that makes it quite difficult to use my driving style in order to extract lap time.
"I try to improve and understand what other ways I can use my driving style, it worked a bit more in Japan but I wouldn't say it will make a huge difference from the rest of the year."