Ferrari's chief designer Nikolas Tombazis admits that the Italian team can't blame changes to Pirelli's tyres for it dropping away from the front during the 2013 F1 season.
Fernando Alonso won twice in the opening five races of the season but has failed to take victory since his home event in Spain back in May.
While the double champion has picked up five podium finishes since then, he has invariably done so having fought back from a disappointing qualifying performance, having failed to start a race from the front two rows since Bahrain.
The Spaniard has also lost huge ground to Sebastian Vettel in the races since Pirelli introduced new tyres to counter the issues faced at Silverstone, but Tombazis said the team couldn't simply blame that change for it dropping away in the title race.
“That change occurred after the German GP, when the tyre belt changed from being metallic to being made of Kevlar,” he said. “However, it would be somewhat superficial to blame the tyres as the only reason for our decrease in performance. We also took some development steps that were not as strong and didn't work.”
Tombazis added that the team would work in upcoming races to try and gain a better understating of the tyres while also seeking to further improve the performance of the F138.
“Our efforts will be partly aimed at continuing to understand better the tyres and tyre management, which might see some improvement compared to our competitors,” he said, “and we are bringing small aero updates.
“One should not expect these to dramatically affect the final result but we feel they will bring some improvement.”