Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali believes his team must focus on improving the single-lap pace of its car if it is to seize control of the world championship battle.
Fernando Alonso has been in brilliant form this season with an under-performing car, and his third-placed finish in Monaco helped him move back to the top of the world championship standings.
However, Domenicali thinks that Ferrari must start qualifying on pole position to take advantage of the benefits of running in clear air at the front of the field.
"If you are fighting for pole position, and even on pole position, then the race is totally different," said Domenicali. "This is something we need to keep focusing on to make sure things are going in the right direction.
"In terms of the pure performance of the car, we had a very difficult start. We have a situation where we are not happy and where we want to improve the car because we have seen other cars at the moment have pole positions, and we do not. So that has to be a target for the team."
Ferrari's update package for the F2012 that it delivered at the Spanish GP appears to have provided the step forward in form it needed to keep the team in the title hunt.
Further improvements are set for the next few races, and Domenicali thinks there is also an onus on Alonso to keep producing the kind of performances that he has done so far this year.
"I feel that at home everyone is working to make sure that every race we keep putting performance on the car, and that is what we have to do," he said.
"I am happy we are leading but with such a championship we have to make sure that we don't lose points. There are so many drivers and teams that are fighting for the win that you have to be always there."