Carlos Sainz believes Ferrari possessed the sixth-fastest car throughout the Dutch Grand Prix weekend.
The Spaniard looked to be in contention for his first podium of the campaign at Zandvoort but couldn't match the pace of Aston Martin and Alpine, who finished inside the top three with Fernando Alonso and Pierre Gasly respectively.
Sainz ended the race in fifth place, holding off Mercedes' Lewis Hamiton in the final laps following a red flag stoppage for torrential weather.
Ferrari has endured a difficult season thus far, with Sainz suggesting that it slipped further back in the pecking order at Zandvoort.
“I would say after looking at the Alpine, we were more the sixth fastest car this weekend,” conceded Sainz, speaking to media including RacingNews365.com.
“We knew going into the race and going into qualifying that we were just lacking this weekend and we had to focus on maximizing a good result and we did that.
“Even in the last stint when I knew I had one set of Inters left to put for the last seven laps, the tyres were destroyed from qualifying.
“I still managed to keep Hamilton behind and bring home a P5 that honestly was not on the cards.”
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Sainz was the only point-scorer for Ferrari at Zandvoort as teammate Charles Leclerc retired after slipping through the order with car damage.
Despite Ferrari lacking pace at the event, Sainz suggested: "It was one of [my] best [races this season] for sure, top three because of how tricky it was out there,” he stated.
“Turns 9 and 10, Turn 1 also you saw with Lewis how much he was catching me.
“There is just something there that we were struggling a lot with but it has to be one of my best tracks of the season.”