Daniel Ricciardo has pointed to a lack of rear grip to explain Red Bull Racing's disappointing performance relative to arch rivals Ferrari and Mercedes.
While Ricciardo's home race in Melbourne was thwarted mainly by an electrical issue which emerged as he was joining the grid, the Aussie also revealed a few interesting findings he gathered from watching Ferrari and Mercedes on-board footage from Australia.
"At the moment, we don't have enough rear grip - so downforce basically," Ricciardo said in Shanghai on Thursday.
"But to be honest, I don't know if it is we don't have enough or we haven't set the car up in the right way. I still feel that we haven't got the most out of the downforce.
"[From] Melbourne, if I watch some onboards of Ferrari or Mercedes, it looks like they have more rear grip than us - so probably we don't have as much as them, period.
"I don't think we have understood it well enough yet to get the most out of it with set-up and ride heights, that sort of thing."
Both Ricciardo and team mate Max Verstappen have described the team's new-spec RB 13 as having a delicate balance and a narrow set-up window.
"For me and probably Max as well, we just felt that looking at Ferrari and Mercedes, we couldn't attack the corner as much because they just seem more planted on the rear," Ricciardo added.
"Even on the high-speed [corners], we can kind of match them, but I feel we are like this [up to our neck].
"There was an onboard from one of Kimi's best laps from testing, and Turn 3 - I think the top teams are doing Turn 3 full [throttle] - he did it, and he didn't even use all the track.
"He didn't let the car run out to the edge so, wow, he has got some downforce.
"I think it is something we knew from early on, that that is an area we have to work on now."
McLaren Honda veto a blessing in disguise for Red Bull
In retrospect, Red Bull Racing are happy McLaren boss Ron Dennis intervened in 2015 to veto the team's wish to use Honda power for 2016.
When Red Bull and Renault were at loggerheads in 2015 over the dismal performance of the French manufacturer's power unit, Christian Horner and Helmut Marko made a push for Honda power.
But Ron Dennis, who had the right to veto and potential Honda customer deals, quashed the Milton Keynes outfit's request.
In hindsight, it was a blessing in disguise for Red Bull.
"I have to say for the first time: I am really grateful to Ron Dennis for having vetoed our Honda ambitions, otherwise we might have Honda engines," Marko told motorsport-total.com.
"The fact that Honda is taking so long (to improve) is surprising. I would never have believed it."
Red Bull subsequently continued its relationship with Renault, running Tag-Heuer branded engines which have made huge gains thanks to the manufacturer's uncompromising efforts.
Marko however still believes there is a gap to bridge when it comes to Red Bull's power.
"Unfortunately, we are currently number three in all areas, which makes it difficult. The Mercedes package is simply superior, and only in race mode is Ferrari close.
"Mercedes are half a second faster, even if Lauda says there are only three tenths.
"Mercedes can go into top performance mode in the race, you can see it when suddenly, it’s not possible to make an overtake because the Mercedes pulls away again, but they can only do it for five or six laps during the course of a race."
Marko also underlined the importance of scrapping the token development system, a decision which in itself was essential in keeping Mercedes' power from running away.
"It’s a blessing. Otherwise, Mercedes would never have been caught, but now Ferrari has succeeded," said the Red Bull motorsport boss.
"If the token system had remained in place, Mercedes would always be ahead with its technical and financial resources."