Ferrari has promised to take a much more aggressive approach to the design of its 2012 car after learning the lessons from its slow start to this year's campaign.
Although the team retains hope that a surge over the second half of the season can help it close down the gap to runaway championship leader Sebastian Vettel, it also recognizes it should have done better in the opening races of the campaign.
After a technical revamp that resulted in Aldo Costa leaving the team and Pat Fry taking over technical leadership, its chief designer Nikolas Tombazis has said that the team is already preparing to push its 2012 design to the edge to ensure that it hits the ground running next year. When asked if the new car would be an evolution of this year's design or a total clean sheet concept, Tombazis said: "I think neither, to be honest. We have taken a very fresh approach, and there are a lot of areas of the car that will change substantially. In that regard, it represents a bigger change compared to previous years and previous cars and, quite frankly, we need to do that because we need to make a bigger step forward than we have done previously.
"In modern F1, you never start with a clean sheet and throw everything in the bin, and say, 'OK guys, let's start from zero.' You do have a lot of things you learn from the previous years and you have to apply them. I think if you look at the different cars in the pit lane you will find strong points in every single car, even the ones that are slowest, so nobody starts from a totally clean sheet ever. I think the degree of change will be quite big."
Although vowing to make significant changes for next year's car, Tombazis says there remains very much a focus on delivering more wins in 2011, with major updates continuing to be added over the next few races. As well as front and rear wing developments, the team believes that there is much scope for improvement to be made in the area of blown diffusers – especially now that teams are free to do what they want in that area.
"This is an area of clear performance gain that we have found for this year's car, so some resource naturally has to be spent on this year's car because we want to win races, and we do have quite a few more races ahead of us. Therefore we want to get more wins under our belt.
"Obviously, the research is not applicable for next year's car but other things we are doing for this year's car also has some bearing toward next year's car, so it is a bit of a mix on that – trying to prioritize best our resources to cover both cars."
When asked if he felt there was room to extract even more performance from this year's car, Tombazis said: "I think as long as we are not winning on a race-by-race basis then there is enough margin.
"I think that Silverstone was an indication of a performance improvement, and the Nurburgring is not what would have been considered a track that was favorable to us a few months ago and a few months ago we would have been further behind. The developments that we have in the pipeline for the next few races should enable us to be up there fighting."
• Click here for an extended interview with Nikolas Tombazis.