Ferrari were frank in their post-race assessment of their lack of competitiveness during this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix, even after both drivers succeeded in finishing in the points in Budapest.

"Going into this race weekend, we knew we would be struggling a bit," admitted team principal Stefano Domenicali after the race at the Hungaroring on Sunday afternoon.

"Today's result cannot put a smile on our faces because at no point in the race were we competitive,: he continued. "After a promising start to the season, we are experiencing a drop in competitiveness.

"Now we need to stay calm and not give up, which is what we are used to doing, especially in the most difficult times," he added. "We must use the next few weeks to gather some ideas and act promptly. I expect the whole team to react strongly with the intention of improving the car to allow our drivers to express all their potential."

Fernando Alonso started and finished the race in fifth place, which means that he loses second spot in the drivers championship to Lotus F1's Kimi Raikkonen. Even so, Alonso said that he felt the Hungary result was as good as they could have hoped for in the circumstances - and possibly even better.

"Finishing fifth today, maybe we actually did better than what should have been within our grasp," he said. "Mercedes, Lotus and Red Bull were quicker than us, a fact we had already seen from Friday's practice."

Ferrari's technical director Pat Fry agreed: "The result of this race is in line with our current potential: we knew this cycle of races would be difficult and that the fight for the podium at this track would be out of our reach.

"Car performance on both compounds did not give us any margin to attack, not even with a more aggressive strategy," Fry explained. "For this reason, we preferred to defend our positions from attacks from those behind and from those caused by traffic, opting for a more conservative strategy."

"This race ends what's been a generally difficult month for us," Alonso concurred. "Silverstone and Nurburgring [are] part of a cycle where we were not up to par. However, looking at the points we have obtained, we haven't lost out too much.

"Today, Hamilton and Raikkonen helped us to keep the gap from growing too big to Vettel in the lead," he said, taking he long view of the season and finding reasons to be cheerful. "Now, our aim is to work hard to arrive at Spa and Monza with a more competitive car. There are still nine races to go and the points available are more than enough.

"The team can do it and the potential is there, so I don't see any reason why we can't fight right to the end of the championship, as we have always done".

Alonso's championship hopes were briefly threatened by a post-race investigation into illegal use of his DRS during the race, but the stewards concluded that the problem was due to the team leaving the system in a 'pre-race' setting that fed the driver incorrect information about when he could use the overtake assist.

As a result the stewards fined the team 15,000 euros but cleared Alonso himself of wrong-doing. (See separate story.)