Sauber drivers Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi said their car was simply to slow to get into the points in the Bahrain Grand Prix, and that no amount of strategic variations would have given them a chance to improve on their eventual 11th and 13th positions.
Just a week after Kobayashi started third in China, and two races on from Perez's near-win in Malaysia, Sauber was at the tail of the top 10 at Sakhir.
Kobayashi could not sustain his intended two-stop strategy and fell to 13th when he had to make an additional tyre change near the end, while Perez was only 11th.
"We knew this circuit would not be an easy one for us and we were just too slow today," said Perez. "We tried both strategies and split them between the cars but today there was nothing that could have really helped us.
"I had a lot of tyre degradation and due to a problem at the pitstop we lost a place and a point to Michael [Schumacher]."
Kobayashi was dropping down the order even before having to make his extra pitstop.
"The tyres degraded quicker than we hoped and I had to do three stops as well, with the last one seven laps before the end," he said.
"I can't see anything that we could have actually done better in today's race. Our problem was a general lack of speed and we will work hard to fix it."
Sauber's head of track engineering Giampaolo Dall'Ara argued that the biggest issue was that the cars did not make good enough starts.
"The key point of the race was on lap one when we lost positions. The start was possibly not so good. That's something we have to look into," said Dall'Ara. "From that point on we were unable to recover."