Ferrari team boss Fred Vasseur says the Scuderia will take the fight to Mercedes in the final leg of the 2023 season without sacrificing any part of its all-important 2024 development programme.
Since the end of F1's summer break, Ferrari has outscored Mercedes by 36 points, which all allowed the Italian outfit to seize third place from Aston Martin in F1's Constructors standings and to move within 36 points of the Brackley squad.
Carlos Sainz's remarkable win in Singapore – the first for a non-Red Bull driver – went a long way towards boosting Ferrari's tally and putting Mercedes in the Scuderia's crosshairs.
But with Ferrari going all-in at Maranello and sparing no effort to conceive a car capable of challenging Red Bull next season, it's battle against Mercedes for the runner-up spot in the championship could seem like a distraction.
However, Vasseur sees a benefit for Ferrari in keeping the team on its toes and in the hunt.
"You don't have to postpone the fight, the fight is with Mercedes today, and we have to take it,” said the Frenchman.
"It's always the best way to prepare for the future, for the mindset of the team, for everybody to be into the fight is crucial. And we'll keep this fight until the end of the season.
"It's never a sacrifice, because I think that performance is coming from performance. It's too late to go into the wind tunnel for this season, but what we can do on the current car will help us for next year."
Ferrari appears to have mitigated the chronic degradation issues that impacted its car earlier this year while it also introduced a revised floor in Japan.
Vasseur suggested that the improvements were incremental but insisted that "small details" sometimes make a "huge difference" given incredibly tight gap between the cars' performances at some venues this season.
"What you can bring on the car is a matter of potential,” he said. “The deg is another story, and we don't have to mix everything.
"But for sure, potential is always helpful. And for less than a tenth we would have been on the first row, and then it's a different story, you have clean air and so on.
"Sometimes small details are making, at the end of the race, a mega huge difference because when you are in the fight you have to copy the others. It's a different story.
"But I think it will be like this until the end of the season.
"We made the pole position in Monza for one hundredth, last week in Singapore for five hundredths, something like this, [in Japan] we lost the first row for five hundredths, and it will be a matter of hundredths for the rest of the season."