Max Verstappen has admitted that, for now at least, he does not have a car with which to challenge for the 2019 title.
"We have more questions for the chassis than for the Honda engines," admitted team boss Christian Horner.
Only the safety car kept Verstappen off the podium in Bahrain, but he admitted he "didn't deserve" to finish higher than fourth on Sunday.
"It was one of the most difficult races ever," said the Dutchman.
He told Ziggo Sport that he lacked rear grip all weekend.
"We just didn't have the speed so we couldn't really attack. It can happen sometimes that things don't go well, as long as we know where the problem is," said Verstappen.
"We are third in the championship and so is Red Bull, trying to lose as few points as possible and getting the car under control quickly," he added.
Finally, Verstappen denied that the new hype around Ferrari's Charles Leclerc is annoying.
"It doesn't really matter to me," he insisted. "In fact I think it's important that more and more new talent comes in. And he was one of the fastest in karting."
Verstappen's boss Christian Horner admitted Red Bull needs "more speed", but he stopped short of saying the 2019 pecking order is now clear.
"Ferrari was very strong in Bahrain and Mercedes was lucky," he is quoted by Algemeen Dagblad newspaper.
"To see where we are now, we have to see why Ferrari was so strong. It seemed like a completely different team, and the same is true of Mercedes.
"At the moment we are unable to get the most out of the tyres, but I think the drivers are making the most of it. If you hear them talking, they are not very happy with the car," said Horner.