Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz struggled for pace in the second half of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and ended up finishing sixth and seventh behind both Mercedes and well adrift of Red Bull.

Fernando Alonso's Podium SAGA with the FIA needs to CHANGE!

Ferrari also had reliability concerns relating to their engine at both of the opening two races of the season, leading to suggestions that their lack of competitiveness might have been the result of turning down their power units.

But speaking on the Sky Sports F1 podcast, Croft revealed he had been told by an unamed source within Ferrari that the team ran their engines at full power in Jeddah. 

Asked whether Ferrari should be worried about their lack of pace, Croft replied: “Yes.

“I’m really sorry about this Ferrari fans, but I’m going to give you a little story from the way back from Jeddah. 

“I had a chat with somebody from Ferrari and I said: ‘did you turn your engines down in the second part of the race?’ And they said: ‘no.’

“So that was their pace on the hard tyre. So that is where I would worry if I was Ferrari at the moment. 

“If they were turning the engines down for reliability, then you assume that reliability gets fixed. But if that was their pace, at a track they thought they’d do okay…

“They were suffering tyre wear and I think teams are following out that it’s not as easy to follow the cars this year as it was last year. Things have changed a little bit in terms of how easy it is to follow.

“But Ferrari were suffering from tyre deg and that was their main Achilles’ heel.

“This should be their year - but I said that last year!” 

After a disappointing start to the season, Ferrari boss Fred Vasseur admitted the team must not “bullshit itself” over their current form.

“The most important thing in this kind of situation is to know where we are going well and what we are doing wrong,” he said. “But we cannot bullshit ourselves.  

“We have to change. We have to understand where we are wrong, and we have to push. It’s not [good enough] to speak, we will not be faster like this.  

“For me the picture is quite clear. The potential of the car is good, but it’s not enough compared to Red Bull, because we are not able to extract the maximum from the car every time.”