Sebastian Vettel was unable to hold his own among the top ten in the Portuguese GP, saying Aston Martin simply wasn't fast enough to target points in Sunday's race.
For the first time in 16 races, Vettel gained access to the Saturday afternoon shootout, qualifying P10 and achieving a breakthrough of sorts.
Unfortunately, that was as good as it got for the foru-time world champion who remained among the top-ten until an early pitstop left him stranded for the remainder of the day in the second tier of the midfield.
Vettel crossed the checkered flag P13, just one spot ahead of Aston teammate Lance Stroll.
"[It] was quite a busy and difficult race with a very long stint on the medium tyres," commented Vettel."
"I think after 10 laps it was difficult to really keep close to the group ahead and we just couldn’t stay with them and ultimately lost out. It looks like overall, we just didn’t have enough pace today to score points.
"I think we understand the car better and better, but we are lacking a bit of speed, so we need to work on that.
"I don’t think we could have done anything different with the strategy, but overall, we did not have enough pace or consistency to hold onto the group fighting for points."
Aston Martin brought updates for its AMR21 to Portimão but Stroll was the single recipient of the upgrades. However, the changes are also set to be implemented on Vettel's car in Spain this week.
"On the positive side, I will have some new parts on my car next week, which we feel are a step in the right direction," he said.
"But the real priority is to have a clean Saturday, which is the key to a better Sunday."