Sebastian Vettel is struggling with his Red Bull because he isn't 'getting the feedback from the car he wants' according to Team Principal Christian Horner.
The reigning four-time World Champion has been outpaced for the majority of the year by his new team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, with the German told during consecutive races to let the Australian past because he was quicker at the time.
"I think that Sebastian is having a tough time at the moment because he hasn't got that feeling from the car that he is looking for," Horner said after last week's Chinese Grand Prix.
"He is tremendously sensitive to certain aspects of the set-up, and he is not getting the feedback from the car he wants.
"The compound effect of that is that he is damaging the tyre more, which is very unusual for Seb.
"We have seen since Pirellis have been introduced [in 2011], that it is highly unusual for him to be going through the tyre life quicker than the average.
"I think that is just a culmination of the issues that he has currently. But as soon as he has worked them out, he will be back with a bang."
While Vettel has struggled with the set-up of his RB10, Ricciardo has settled immediately, much to Horner's delight.
"It is a massive performance from Daniel," said Horner of Ricciardo's performance in China, where he finished in fourth place.
"He has been hugely impressive all weekend.
"He has really been outstanding this season in all four grands prix this year. He has done a tremendous job.
"His confidence is growing, he seems so calm in the car, his feedback is exceptional, and when he talks on the radio it is like he is in a coffee shop up the road.
"He is enjoying what he is doing. He is enjoying being a grand prix driver, and he is enjoying driving for the team."
Any reproduction, publication or redistribution of this material without the written agreement of 365 Media Group is strictly forbidden.