Ferrari intends to switch its focus of development to its 2012 challenger from the beginning of September, the team's principal Stefano Domenicali confirmed.
Having recently stated that Ferrari will continue to fight for this year's World Championships, in spite of Fernando Alonso's 89-point deficit to Sebastian Vettel in the drivers' standing and an even larger 168-point gap between Ferrari and constuctors' table leader Red Bull, Domencali stated that he wants to ensure the team makes a better start to its campaign next year.
Alonso has been the highest scoring driver over the last four races, but struggled for competitiveness earlier in the season – a similar story to last year, where the Spaniard lost the championship partly due to a slow start to the season.
"At the start of September, we will concentrate solely on next year, because we have already defined all the updates for the 150° Italia (the 2011 car), at least up until mid-October," said Domenicali. "Sure, if something was to change, then we would react accordingly.
"In fact, apart from the area that concerns the exhausts, [and] on Aug. 23 the Technical Working Group should shed some light on all the gray areas, the regulations are practically unchanged and therefore, development on today's car can also be useful for next year."
He added in an interview with Britain's Daily Telegraph that the priority for the team must be to improve its starting point in 2012.
"If you have to do some fine-tuning you can do it, but otherwise you will lose a lot of time on development of the new car," he said. "The more time we can spend on the wind tunnel the better. Because for sure what I really want to avoid is another difficult winter like the last two years.
"Last year, for instance, we had a fantastic second half of the season – incredible – and could have won the World Championship. But this year we did not start so well. So this year our priority is to have a much better winter."
Domenicali said the aim for the rest of the season was to keep pushing for victories and pressuring Red Bull.
"If I had to score our season so far, I would mark it a 6+, which represents the mid-point between the terrible start and a great fight back that we saw in the second part," he said Domenicali. "I expect we will continue down this route which has seen Fernando Alonso score more points than any other driver in the last four races, all the way to the end of the season. Our aim is to win as much as possible and to have a car that is competitive at the highest level.
"Let's not forget that, last year, while fighting all the way to the end, we were still behind Red Bull in terms of performance. We want to close the gap, which has already been considerably reduced if not almost wiped out in the last few races."