Cape Town - Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto insists there was nothing strange about the Ferrari's lack of speed in on the straights.
Following a string of pole positions after the summer break, Ferrari's rivals questioned the Scuderia's engine leading to two separate Technical Directives from the FIA.
That saw the Scuderia fail to take pole position in Austin while they again missed out at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Instead it was Max Verstappen in the Honda-powered Red Bull who put his RB15 up onto pole with Sebastian Vettel 0.123s down.
Binotto says that's because Ferrari opted to instead focusing on cornering speed.
"Certainly they [Red Bull and Honda] were fast," the team boss told Autosport.
"They were fast that around the lap, they were fast on the straight as well.
"We need to analyse it but if I look our qualy compared to them, I think we're almost matching them in grip limited [conditions].
"And it was very close as well on the straightline, in terms of being power limited.
"So I think it's a balance between aero configuration, what you're choosing.
"It is the very first time maybe where we are so close to them in grip limited, showing that as Ferrari we are moving in a different set-up direction, giving advantage in the cornering."
The team boss added that the decision would have paid off for Ferrari with one driver on the podium had they not crashed late in the Brazilian GP.
"[Brazil] was similar to a Mexico situation, and the previous races," added Binotto.
"We are still lacking a bit of pace in the race - not much, but certainly what's required to make sure that we stay ahead.
"Sebastian was a comfortable third, he was faster than at least a Mercedes and another Red Bull.
"Charles from 14th would have been on the podium eventually, so I think the race certainly was OK.
"Austin was certainly a bad race for us. Not in the continuity with all the others.
"What happened there is not too clear yet to us. But certainly the car balance was not right, the drivers got in the race difficulty in putting energy into the tyres to warm them up.
"So it's set-up, tyres-related. We took some action from there, but that's something we keep within the team as a specific car situation."