The Bahrain Grand Prix confirmed that Ferrari is still suffering from a legacy issue from their F1-75 - poor tyre degradation.
Even though the track in Sakhir is the toughest on tyres all year - owing to the fact that it has not be resurfaced since its debut in 2004 - both Ferrari drivers struggled throughout the weekend with tyres.
Carlos Sainz expects it to be less of an issue for the team at Saudi Arabia, given the newer tarmac surface at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit that is less abrasive compared to Bahrain.
"I believe we can be more competitive in the race because the tarmac allows you to push more, there's less degradation," he told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"We only have one sample, that is Bahrain, with these cars. So we've been here for seven days now running with these cars and it's clear what our problem is in Bahrain.
"Let's see what is a problem in Jeddah with different tarmac, but you are also a bit more front [tyre] limited.
"Maybe it helps us, maybe we are the same, we don't know but I want to be positive."
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Sainz: Ferrari improved in three main areas, but Red Bull quicker
Sainz believes Ferrari has improved in three key areas compared to last year: "Straight line speed, starts, pitstops."
GPS analysis shows that Ferrari was faster on the main straights during Bahrain qualifying, but Max Verstappen managed to gain time in the braking zones and traction on corner exit.
Ferrari also produced the quickest pit stop of the weekend, with Charles Leclerc's 2.22 second stop compared to 2.25 for Verstappen.
Even though it's encouraging for Sainz, he still believes Red Bull has made a significant step in their car performance which puts Ferrari off.
"We've made steps forward in all these areas compared to last year, so it's not like we've got worse, there's actually two or three points that we have improved.
"Weaknesses are in tyre degradation and the Red Bull is quicker than at the end of last year."