Carlos Sainz has suggested Ferrari's early season woes surpass issues with tyre degradation and has instead pointed to a more "fundamental problem".
The Scuderia has failed to emulate the lightning start made last season and has instead continued the slump experienced in the second half of the year, with only one podium from seven races to begin the new campaign.
This is despite the SF-23 emerging as Red Bull's nearest challenger over one lap, with both Sainz and Charles Leclerc securing front row starts - the latter taking pole at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
But the Spanish Grand Prix last time out was another tale of a poor Sunday leaving Ferrari floundering, with Mercedes and Aston Martin underlining their claims to the top three in the Constructors' standings.
Ferrari's difficulties in treating the Pirelli tyres has been well documented from inside and outside the team but speaking to media, including RacingNews365.com, ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix, Sainz conceded: "We keep talking a lot about tyres and degradation, but I think there is more of a fundamental problem with the race pace, rather than just degradation.
"My analysis, the team's analysis is that we lack race pace. We need to make a car that is kinder on tyres but also more consistent with the aero and allows us to stay on the limit of the car for the whole race.
"At the moment, it just feels like we are having to back off a bit."
Viewed by others:
Ferrari 'trying our best'
Ferrari introduced a raft of upgrades, including a change to its sidepod design, in Spain and despite no new additions of note in Canada, the developmental path is expected to continue throughout the year.
"We are trying our best," insisted Sainz.
"Every weekend we are doing different things, every weekend we have new bits on the car, every weekend we try something else with the tyres, if it is not with the suspension, if it is not with the aero.
"We cannot fault the fact we are trying everything and I am sure we will get to the bottom of it."