Ferrari says it will reserve judgment on its chances of winning the World Championship this year until after the British Grand Prix, even though team management thinks it may need a miracle to pull off the type of win that Jenson Button delivered in Canada.
The Italian team had high hopes of a strong result in Montreal, after Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa qualified second and third, but incidents in the race meant they lost even more ground to points leader Sebastian Vettel. Although conceding that the title fight is now looking difficult, with Alonso 92 points adrift of Vettel in the standings, team principal Stefano Domenicali wants to wait another two races before making a call on Ferrari's 2011 ambitions.
For, as well as the updates that are coming through for its car, the British GP will mark the first race when the FIA's planned ban on off-throttle blown diffuser comes into effect – and that could turn the form book on its head.
Asked how long he believed Ferrari could keep up its belief that it can still win the title, Domenicali said: "I said in the last race that we were waiting to see after these two races, and to have the points, for sure.
"I am very disappointed for the race here because that was not really the points that the team deserved, as the performance was really there. So we need to see and grab the maximum points in Valencia. And then we need to see in Silverstone, what is the real effect of this change in the regulations with regard to the effect of the exhaust?
"Then, we will see really where is the second championship in terms of the level of performance above all in higher-downforce tracks. So, I would say after Silverstone we can make a judgment on that."
Ferrari's biggest problem this season has not been that its car has lacked the performance to challenge for wins and podiums, but that it has failed to turn recent improvements on its car into hard results.
Domenicali admitted that the situation was not ideal, and he joked that the squad may need to go and seek some divine intervention for help.
"I felt that we did the right thing to try and overtake a backmarker that was really very, very slow and, unfortunately, in that moment there was only one line that was really dry, and from the moment he [Felipe] was re-accelerating he was in the middle of the 'ice,' then what can you say? It was really a shame, because we had a good chance and, for a lot of reasons, we did not take it.
"When you look at Jenson, he won the race with six pit stops! I cannot say what I am thinking in English but we need to do something. We will organize a tour to Lourdes or something to see if we can reverse the scenario!"