Sebastian Vettel has said Ferrari can offer no further excuses if they want to wrestle the championship momentum back from Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes.
Hamilton claimed his second victory in as many races in Spain, while Vettel finished only fourth to fall 17 points behind the Briton in this year’s title race.
Ferrari had arrived in Barcelona as the class of the 2018 field, but Hamilton has led the Mercedes fightback this weekend after winning from pole on Sunday.
Vettel’s Ferrari team have struggled to adapt to Pirelli’s new thinner tyre this weekend, and the German was the only driver of the front-runners who had to stop for fresh rubber twice.
He was running in second but lost two places to Valtteri Bottas and then Max Verstappen during a sluggish stop to cross the line in fourth position.
Ferrari’s strategy appeared curious, given that Vettel conceded track position at a circuit where it is difficult to overtake, but the German claimed he was left with little alternative.
And to add insult to injury for Ferrari, Kimi Raikkonen failed to score any points after he was forced to retire following his second engine failure of the weekend.
“Our tyres didn’t last as long as the others, so we couldn’t follow the same strategy as them,” Vettel said.
“We had to stop again and we obviously lost two positions, and also a bit of time during the pit-stop itself, but staying out was not an option.
“There were three things this weekend. One, we were not quick enough and if we are not able to see then we are more than blind.
“Secondly, we struggled with the tyres. Thirdly, it was a poor weekend in terms of reliability. If we don’t see those issues then there are no excuses.
“But the bottom line is that we are not quick enough today to win, and that is what needs to be addressed.”