Having struggled this past weekend in China, Fernando Alonso has warned that Ferrari can expect a similar showing at the next race in Bahrain.
The 30-year-old Spaniard qualified P9 for Sunday's Chinese GP and although it appeared as if he was on course for a solid points-haul, a late slump saw him finish ninth, 37s behind race winner Nico Rosberg.
It was just the latest sign that all it not well with Ferrari's F2012 even though Alonso did win the previous race in Malaysia where the wet conditions masked the car's flaws.
But, back on a dry track, it was another tough weekend for Ferrari with Alonso predicting more of the same at the next race in Bahrain.
"We knew this would be a difficult race and that's how it turned out," Alonso admitted.
"Obviously, this does not leave me very optimistic for Bahrain, on a track where traction and speed are vital, exactly the areas where we are weakest.
"Once again next week it will be mainly a case of damage limitation. I don't want to think of the classification because the priority is to improve the performance of the F2012."
But despite Ferrari's poor performance in Shanghai, Alonso is adamant he has not "lost hope, quite the contrary" and pointed to his third place in the Drivers' standings as proof that there is something to hold onto.
Meanwhile, technical director Pat Fry revealed that there are "a number of different issues" that have plagued the team's F2012 since its inception.
And one of those - a lack of straight line speed - was very apparent around the Shanghai circuit.
"Clearly we paid a very heavy price for the lack of a good top speed on a track like this," Fry said in the wake of Sunday's grand prix.
"We lack performance, we know it, but there is no point in beating ourselves up over it. Rather, we need to concentrate all our efforts on improving car performance."
He added: "I don't really want to go into where all the problems are - it's not just a case of us trying to build a quicker car.
"We need to fundamentally be changing the methodologies that we use to select, design and manufacture so that we are competitive long term."