McLaren F1 boss Andreas Seidl says his team's results of late, and especially last weekend in Canada, clearly indicate that the papaya squad needs to "up its game'.
After a strong opening run in the championship that positioned it as the third fastest team on the grid, McLaren scored only 19 points in the four races that preceded the Canadian Grand Prix.
But in Montreal, neither Lando Norris nor Daniel Ricciardo finished among the top ten as the disappointing pace of their MCL36 and a double-stacked pitstop weighed on the pair's race.
Seidl owned up to his team's downbeat performance, and even felt compelled to apologize to his drivers for not supplying to them the package they deserved.
"Obviously a disappointing day for us, a highly disappointing weekend for various reasons," acknowledged the German, quoted by Motorsport.com.
"Reliability issues, an operational issue today in the race, but also in terms of pace, and where we want to be.
"On the operation side during the pitstop today, we had a communications issue that was in the end snowballing into this issue that we have seen. We need to analyse and come back stronger."
Regarding the team's botched management of its pitstops during the second Virtual Safety Car period, when Norris was called in only to be forced to wait as McLaren's crews serviced Ricciardo who was already there, Seidl said the problem was caused by a communications issue.
"Obviously, I don't want to go too much into detail, because it's something we have to review internally, as a team what went wrong there," he said.
"Like I said before, in the end it was down to a communications issue within the team and that was causing the delays then."
On McLaren's lack of pace around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Seidl said: "On both cars towards the end of the race, we had to manage some parameters, the brakes, and therefore it was not possible for Daniel to keep up the pace and to attack."
McLaren is still fourth in the Constructors' standings, but it will be hard pressed to protect that position if its lackluster performance persists.
"Well of course if you look at the last two races, there's definitely a trend that we have been falling back compared to Alpine especially," said Seidl.
"And also some other cars were showing signs of strong improvements like the Astons on Friday.
"So it is clear that we need to up our game in all areas, like I mentioned before, reliability, operations, performance, to make sure we stay in this battle for P4."