Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has blamed bad rules and complacency at his team for the Scuderia's disastrous start to the season.
Neither Felipe Massa nor Kimi Raikkonen scored points in the first three races of the season, and another non-score in Bahrain on Sunday would mark Ferrari's worst ever start to a Formula 1 season.
Speaking during a visit to the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday, where he vowed to show support for Ferrari, di Montezemolo blamed the confusion caused by the diffuser regulations and a misplaced confidence from his team as chief contributors to its problems.
"I want to understand why we are there. Why we are in the middle of a black tunnel. And the main reasons are three," said di Montezemolo.
"Number one, we have seen very bad written rules. They are what I call grey rules, with different interpretations.
"And if teams that have won the last three world championships, like Renault, McLaren and Ferrari, an important team and car manufacturer like BMW and even Red Bull, have done one interpretation, it means that at least the rules are not clear. So very unclear rules means different interpretations, means different cars in the field.
"Second, is KERS. KERS represents a lot of money. It represents something that has been introduced to have a link between Formula 1 and advanced research for road cars in terms of energy, and in terms of green [technology] and in terms of innovation as I like.
"And we have done immediately the KERS, even if KERS means a lot of money, it means a problem with the safety, it means reliability and it means to project a completely different car - as McLaren has done and as a lot of other teams have done.
"But we have been surprised to see KERS was just a suggestion, not a real world. And today we are facing a very strange and in my opinion not positive situation. We have three different F1s on the grid – we have F1 competition cars with KERS, F1 competition between cars with no KERS and a different floor, and third competitors with no KERS and no floor.
"I think this is bad, and it is one of the reasons why unfortunately we are not competitive and we are forced to invest time, and extra money in such a difficult moment, to do a heavy modification to our car.
He added: "The other reason is that we have started to work in a hard way to the new car late. And this was a pity, particularly in a year in which the rules have been completely new. It is not, in other words, an evolution of last year's car, and this is a second reason why we have not been competitive.
"And the last reason is that I feel inside the team there has been a little bit too much of a presumptuous approach. Sometimes to put the head down in the ground is useful to looking ahead, but I must say that sometimes having your whole head, feet, everything in the ground, even more underground, is better. So I think these are the main reasons.
"We are working hard and I have a big confidence in my team. I am sure that we will go back very soon – not immediately, but very soon."
Di Montezemolo believes that Ferrari's season would have begun very differently if it had adopted a double-decker diffuser and abandoned efforts to develop KERS.
Speaking about the effect of Ferrari's complacency, di Montezemolo said: "Well, there is sometimes when you win too much you think you are the best. I want a different attitude, and some time to have this approach is useful, particularly when you have fantastic people like we have in Ferrari.
"Some time we think that maintaining the top is easy. But we have done 10 years, showing that we are able to maintain the top. Except for 2005 where we were not competitive, we won or lost the championship at the last race. This year the main reason was that if we approached the rules in a different way, without KERS, and with a different floor, then today we will talk about a different Ferrari."
Di Montezemolo did say that he remained confident the team could turn its situation around – and he had faith with the management structure he had in place.
"Of course I am totally unhappy, but stability of the team and confidence of the team for me since 1992 was my main goal and I will continue," he said. "This team is exactly the same team that was very close, crossed the line not 20 years ago but a few months ago winning the championship, so there is no problem.
"When I know the reason I am confident, and when I don't know the reason I am worried. I know the reason, my people know the reason – and they are fully committed, so I am very confident. But then I am very upset for other reasons that are nothing to do with the team."