Carlos Sainz says Ferrari has reacted swiftly to its dramatic underperformance in last weekend's French Grand Prix by launching a "big investigation" into its front tyre woes.
Ferrari's one-lap pace combined with specific circumstances propelled Charles Leclerc to pole in Monaco and in Baku where the Scuderia put a total of 34 points on the board.
But at Paul Ricard, where Sainz and Leclerc qualified respectively P5 and P7, the Italian outfit struggled from the outset on race day, its afternoon undermined by excessive front tyre degradation that pushed both its driver down the order and outside of the points.
This week, Ferrari ramped up its efforts to try and get to the bottom of a problem that has lingered at the Scuderia "for a while now" according to Sainz.
"It’s been only three full days since we had the issue and obviously you can imagine as a team, we were quite surprised by it," said Sainz in Austria on Thursday.
"But also in some way we knew we were exposed to this kind of degradation in the front tyres for a while now.
"It’s quite interesting to see how such a big factory, such a big organisation launches its plan to recover and to try and find out how we’re going to tackle and solve this issue,” added Sainz.
"I’ve been quite involved in all the meetings and discussions on how we’re going to get it better.
"I’ve been spending these last three days in Maranello and we’ve definitely put together a plan for the short, medium and long-term to see if we can get it better."
Sainz hopes that a few settings changes will mitigate the front tyre issue in the short term, but Ferrari's priority is to ensure that the problem is eliminated from next-t year's car.
"We need to experiment with different set-up directions, different configurations that we can put in the car, at least in the short-term to mitigate the problem, and then there’s already very big investigations being launched in the medium and long-term to try and solve the issue back at the factory."
Although Ferrari is working hard to quell its tyre woes, part of which may have been specific to Paul Ricard, Leclerc reckons the issue could persist in Austria.
"We feel like [the issue] was more specific to France, but it’s not impossible that we find it again here or next weekend," said the Monegasque.
"We don’t really know yet, and that’s the whole job of the investigation, to try and understand which exact circumstances we have this issue and why does it get more serious on some tracks than others.
"So that’s where we’re putting our focus at the moment.
"I really enjoy this track,” he added. "It’s one of my favourites – I’ve always had good results in the past so I really hope we can have a very good result this weekend."