Despite starting 1-2 in Mexico, Ferrari had to settle for a second and fourth place with Sebastian Vettel joining the Mercedes drivers on the podium.
The German, though, insists Ferrari didn’t make any “major” mistakes on the day.
Vettel started Sunday’s 71-Mexican GP second behind Charles Leclerc with the duo running 1-2 throughout the opening stint.
Ferrari put Leclerc on a two-stopper which dropped him off the podium while Vettel opted for a one-stopper, the same as Hamilton and Bottas.
However, rather than cover Lewis Hamilton’s strategy, Vettel stopped more than 10 laps after the Brit hoping that fresher tyres later in the race would help him.
They didn’t and Hamilton raced to the win, 1.7s ahead of Vettel.
“I don’t think there were any major mistakes,” he said. “I think we’ve done well.
“We tried everything so I don’t think it was a mistake that we are not as quick to make things happen and force things to happen.”
The German, though, was open to acknowledging where Ferrari were ‘lacking’ on Sundays.
“If you want to be just pure and honest, then I think our car is good in a straight line: one because we have an efficient car, so that’s credit to us; two because I think we’ve done a really good job on the power unit front, so compliments to Maranello.
“But we are lacking downforce which leads into maybe a weaker race pace, leads onto struggling a bit more on Sundays when it’s about managing the tyres and successive laps, whereas in qualifying I think we can extract a bit more from our car, cover our weakness a bit more with fresh tyres on the car.
“With new tyres you can mask a little bit the problems here and there. So that would be just the straightforward, technical answer.
“To do better, I think we need to put things a little bit more together. I think we have all the ingredients; we have the people; we have the intelligence. So I think we just need to make sure things fall into place and once they do, I think things will start to click.
“Obviously Mercedes have proven in the last years that it is possible. I think they just got stronger and stronger throughout, which is credit to them as a team, credit to obviously Valtteri and Lewis, and in particular Lewis over the last years. They have shown what is possible, they are the benchmark and it’s up to us to do a better job in the future.
“Easily said, not so easily done but yeah, I think you also have to give credit where credit is due and both Mercedes and Lewis have been too strong in the last couple of years.”