Daniel Ricciardo has said work needs to be done for Red Bull to get a better understanding of the ultrasoft tyre, but is happy with their race pace.
Ricciardo's struggles on the quickest tyre available this weekend in China were made clear in FP2 where he finished P9 and over a second behind pace-setter Lewis Hamilton.
And the Aussie thinks he is killing the purple-striped tyres before they have even managed to complete a lap.
"I think on pure performance runs with the ultra-soft we weren't very good," Ricciardo said.
"We used it two times today and both times I wasn't happy with it. I felt like after the first sector already I had killed the tyre and the lap time didn't really improve after the first three or four corners.
"We went maybe two-tenths quicker from the soft to that, and it's two compounds softer. We need to understand what we can do better and get that tyre working better over one lap."
But it is a different story for Ricciardo and Red Bull when race pace simulation is taken into consideration.
"The race setup is better than the qualifying setup and with the soft and the medium we're more competitive," Ricciardo added.
"The long runs were more competitive. We'll improve a few things and hopefully we're there tomorrow and more importantly on Sunday."
Max Verstappen echoed his team-mate's thoughts, saying: "A little bit of fine tuning on the short runs to get the balance better and we should be alright.
"This track is good for overtaking anyway so I think we can have a good race judging by our pace."