Ferrari says it needs to validate its performance level at Imola this weekend to ensure its improved display at Portimao was not a one-off.
Ferrari has endured a troubled 2020 campaign on account of a lack of performance from its drag-heavy and power-limited SF1000.
But at the Portuguese Grand Prix Charles Leclerc, who has spearheaded Ferrari’s challenge this year, qualified and raced to fourth position, his best Sunday result in two months.
Leclerc suggested that recent updates, which concluded with a revised diffuser at Portimao, have complemented his driving style.
It allowed Ferrari to edge closer to the three teams battling for third in the Constructors’ Championship though it remains 27 points behind fifth-placed Renault.
“At Portimao we also experimented with a new configuration to the end of the floor to reproduce the downforce levels we will have in 2021,” said Ferrari’s strategy chief Inaki Rueda.
“That came after recent changes to the technical regulations and we also tried some solutions that should help to warm up the tyres, an area in which we have suffered this year, especially in the low temperatures we have encountered in this unusual season.
“I’d say the results were positive, to the extent we then fitted the updates to both cars.
“Now we have to confirm what we saw in Portimao this coming weekend at Imola.”
Rueda says that Ferrari should regard Imola’s atypical two-day event format as a chance to improve its potential.
“That will be another unusual weekend give that the event takes place over just two days,” he said.
“It won’t be the first time, given that in the past, bad weather has led to sessions being delayed to the following day, but it will still be a different experience.
“Who knows, it might be an additional opportunity to do well.”