Ferrari says its quest to improve qualifying form must not come at the expense of its race-day performance that has proved so crucial this season.
Fernando Alonso bounced back from a difficult Saturday to dominate the Spanish Grand Prix with a four-stop strategy.
Although the ability of the F138 to look after its tires has helped Alonso take two wins so far this season, he and the team also know that they must start closer to the front of the grid if they are to properly challenge for the world title. But Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali said it must ensure that its race form was not put at any risk by its bid to do better in qualifying.
"The priority for me is very clear," explained Domenicali. "We don't have to unbalance the situation of our car at the moment, but we have to improve qualifying because we will have races where it is much more difficult to overtake.
"We knew that in Spain the key of the strategy was to attack, and to jump on the traffic. But at not every time you can do it. So, without unbalancing the fact that we have quite a decent performance during the race, we need to improve qualifying to try and have clear air in front of us."
As well as Ferrari's execution of an aggressive four-stop strategy to show it was on top of the tire situation in F1, Domenicali also took heart from the fact that no teams appeared to have made a big step forward in the development race.
"For me, this weekend was important to understand what was the jump in performance due to the steps made by the other teams," he said. "From now up until the end of July, then you may see it is possible for there to be one or two big steps of development and then no more.
"Then, some teams will be forced to try to start work on the 2014 car because next year with the big challenge of the new project, the race is not to stay within two or three tenths but to stay within two or three seconds. I think it is really a crucial part of the season."