Carlos Sainz has voiced his trust that the Ferrari package is the "right direction" for the team, despite conceding that they have "work to do" after the Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix.
It was a challenging weekend for the Scuderia in Barcelona, with Sainz slipping backwards from his P2 starting position to eventually end the race in fifth.
Charles Leclerc, meanwhile, endured a nightmare few days. The Monegasque qualified down in P19 before missing out on points in Sunday's race with a P11 result.
Reflecting on the team's changing fortunes since 2022, Sainz suggested that Leclerc would have found it easier to make his way through the field in the previous season.
"Last year we would have made it back to the top four, top five starting from pit lane," Sainz told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"This year the field is tighter and it's more difficult to make your way through."
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Sainz hopes Ferrari can 'start bringing performance'
With Ferrari's weaknesses becoming apparent at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Sainz is hopeful that the squad can move forwards if they begin to address these issues.
"[There is] work to do, analysis to be done on this package," the Spaniard added.
"I trust that what we did is the right direction, now we need to start addressing our weaknesses with the bouncing, with the high-speed.
"With this new package and direction, hopefully we can start bringing performance."
Ferrari are currently P4 in the Constructors' Championship with 100 points, 34 points behind third-placed Aston Martin.