Speaking on Saturday, as a second torrid day at Silverstone came to a close, Sebastian Vettel, while discussing his struggle for pace, appeared to hint that the cause of his problems might have more sinister roots.
"Obviously the last two days haven't been good," he told Sky Sports, "and therefore we lost a little bit of momentum. I thought that other than that, the first weekend was trouble, the second weekend didn't really happen, the third weekend was sort of the first smooth weekend and now we're in trouble again. So it's been a bit of a rough start, but you know, there's not much choice.
"I'm determined to hang in there," he continued. "I think the guys are pushing as much as they can. I don't think there's any bad intentions by anyone. So we obviously had some issues yesterday and this morning, but we have to, I guess, at this stage pull through and we'll come out on the other side."
In terms of "bad intentions" amidst speculation that the team has basically 'given up' on the German, he subsequently told Channel 4: "I don't want to accuse anyone of bad intentions... but from my side it was not ideal today."
Of course, he didn't want to "accuse anyone", merely put it 'out there' at a time he and Ferrari are already at odds over the manner in which he was dropped.
Speaking at race end, the German remained baffled.
"The car was very difficult to drive," he said. "I struggled a lot to find my confidence and I don't know why, so we need to have a good look.
"I struggled for so many laps in the race, and it was from the beginning to the end, there's something that probably doesn't stack up.
"It was not a very stressful race," he added. "I just didn't have a chance. People around me were faster than me. I got overtaken. It was very difficult to manage myself to stay on track.
"Physically it was not a tough race at all because I could never attack the car. It didn't allow me to do what I like. Now we need to have a look why and obviously we have the next weekend so we can try and do better."
"If you look at our race today, at least on Sebastian's side, it was a difficult race," team boss, Mattia Binotto told Channel 4. "On his car, we can do a lot more.
"He lost some track time on Friday, which was not helping," added the Italian, Vettel missing FP1 due to an intercooler issue, while time was lost in FP2 due to a brake pedal problem that persisted throughout Saturday.
"He was never confident with the car this weekend," admitted Binotto, "so there is a lot of data to look at, to try to understand and to address it. So while eventually on Charles we will look at the data, and try to optimise and let's see what we can do, there is much to do on Sebastian."
Ahead of the race, sharp-eyed viewers spotted the German elbow-bump Lawrence Stroll as the two passed in the paddock.