Ferrari believes it urgently needs to bring more downforce onto its car if it going to be able to take the championship fight to Red Bull Racing.
Although Fernando Alonso is second in the drivers' standings, and ahead of both Red Bull's men, Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali believes the pace of the RB6 in Spain last weekend has acted as a wake-up call about its aerodynamic advantages. With the F1 calendar now heading for a series of tracks where downforce is key, Domenicali reckons his team must find more aerodynamic performance if it is stop Red Bull seizing the initiative in points terms.
"Red Bull did a step in terms of their own performance," Domenicali said about the improved RB6 in Spain. "We saw it on Saturday and we saw it on Friday, but in all honesty we saw it in the race with the performance of Mark Webber. That is a reference for our side.
"We don't have to overreact to that, but it is something that we need to look at very carefully. They [Red Bull Racing] have improved the efficiency of their car, so they are doing a very good job.
"If you look at the championship, they are really the quickest one because, if I recall, they have been on pole position since the beginning of the season, but they are third in the championship. That is a very important factor – don't forget the reliability and don't forget all the other things that are important for the package of the car.
"This situation gives us a push to work very hard at home, mainly to try to find on the aerodynamic side more downforce on the car. That is the area where we have to do a step ahead, because there are some other tracks where this will be fundamental and we cannot run the risk of having a not very efficient car."
Domenicali also believes Ferrari needs to look closely as to why Red Bull appears to be so much better on softer tires than the opposition, whereas its advantage is not so obvious on harder compounds.
"Why is not so clear at the moment," he said. "It is something that our engineers need to understand. The other thing that we need to really understand properly is that the behavior of our drivers is different depending on the tires or the compound that we are using. So this is very effective on the performance of our package, and this is an area that we have to look at very carefully."