Sebastien Bourdais admits he is struggling to get to grips with this year's Toro Rosso STR4, the Frenchman claiming corner exit problems are slowing him down.
Bourdais, in his second season with the Faenza-based squad, has been overshadowed by rookie teammate Sebastien Buemi in the early part of the campaign. Buemi has outqualified Bourdais in Australia and China, where the Swiss has also finished ahead of the Frenchman.
The four-time Champ Car champion concedes he is having problems adapting to the handling of the car.
"If you only look at the papers this year should be worse because the tyres are much harder," Bourdais told AUTOSPORT. "It's harder, because you have 20% more grip at the front. It's a little bit difficult, I can't hide it.
"This is the exact opposite of what I need. I mean, that's my weakness and I know it, and I assume it.
"It still doesn't mean that I can't go fast with these cars. It's just that I have a bit less room to operate properly. In Malaysia I was a bit more comfortable, and the potential of the car has been raised significantly.
"You can see where Red Bull is, and us, making it to Q3 is quite a big step. But for me, basically I'm happy with the car for most of the track, but there are two corners where I lose time. But the rest is all right; it's going according to plan."
The Frenchman is hopeful, however, that he will be able to make progress once Toro Rosso gets new updates that sister team Red Bull has been using.
"It will be in two steps for us. In Barcelona we will get what Red Bull has, which is a significant thing because along with a big wing, so it's pretty major," he added. "That's what we are hoping for, seeing what it's going to do and hopefully by then not everybody will have a double deck and we can look quite good."
Bourdais, who was in a similar situation with last year's car, said he still felt the support from the team.
"Yeah, and even more, because it's not like anybody pretends they have the answer or knows what's the best. Nobody knows, because we start with different cars because we feel we have to try different things and learn from this. One day one guy is going to get the good end and one day it's going to be the other guy."