Ferrari believes it is now essential for Fernando Alonso's title challenge that it brings improvements to its car.
Although Alonso holds a 29-point advantage over Sebastian Vettel with six races remaining, Ferrari's pace in Singapore has highlighted the performance deficiencies the team has had all year. With a new rear wing that the team had hoped would deliver a step forward in Singapore not performing as expected and being abandoned on Friday, it has highlighted the difficulties there are in guaranteeing reward for efforts back at the factory.
Team principal Stefano Domenicali concedes that Ferrari has been helped by recent reliability issues for Vettel and Lewis Hamilton, who retired from the lead in Singapore, but said he knows Alonso cannot rely on his rivals hitting more trouble.
"It is fundamental to give to Fernando an improved car in certain conditions," said Domenicali after the Singapore GP. "We have to make sure that Fernando can win again up until the end, otherwise it [the title] will be very difficult. Then we would have to rely on the problems of the others, which is not the right thing to say or to do at the moment.
"It [winning the championship without winning another race is] not impossible, because you can never say never, but for us it is fundamental that he is able to win more races from here."
Domenicali believes that the team's performance is not as bad as recent results have suggested, especially with its chances at Monza compromised by Alonso suffering a car problem in qualifying. But, in light of Vettel's alternator problem in Italy and Hamilton's gearbox in Singapore, he knows Ferrari has to ensure its own reliability as well.
"Reliability for me is the fundamental aspect up to the end of the season," he said. "We know that we have suffered problems in Monza, we know we could have had some other problems in Singapore, so we need to wait and see, but this is a priority.
"We know that the points are the things that count so, if you have a reliability issue, we know at this stage of the season it [the penalty] is very heavy. Do not forget that now we are in a situation where the engine will be short for everyone – mileage will be important. So there is something that is very, very crucial."