Ferrari hopes to claw further performance back to its main Formula 1 rivals with the introduction of a new diffuser at this weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix.

The Italian outfit has been developing its SF1000 at a rapid rate having endured a woeful 2020 season so far, and introduced a series of updates to its car at recent rounds in Sochi and Germany.

Ferrari’s latest upgrade, which centres around a revised diffuser, will complete the package of improvements it has been focusing on since last month's Russian Grand Prix.

“We already introduced a few small modifications to the car’s aero package in Sochi and added others at the Nürburgring,” said Ferrari’s head of performance development Enrico Cardile.

“In Portimao we will have a further update, mainly to the diffuser, completing the programme set out over the past few months.

“The most important thing is to get confirmation that our development is on the right track,” he added.

“Indications from the past few Grands Prix are positive and we hope the same will apply this weekend. We have to consider that, more than ever this year, development is aimed at the following season.”

While not satisfied with its results at Sochi and the Nurburgring, Ferrari has noticed progress since it first began introducing its updates, which paved the way for Charles Leclerc to record two top-seven finishes.

Cardile said Ferrari is now targeting to be consistently fighting its midfield rivals for fourth place and lower at the remaining six races of the season.

“We still expect to see a performance improvement with the SF1000,” he explained.

“It would be very useful to at least find ourselves heading the group of cars and drivers currently fighting within just a few tenths for places four and lower.

“Only a couple of times this year have we been able to fight for a place in the sun on the second or third row and our aim between now and December is to be consistently fighting for those places.

“But then, precisely because this part of the grid is so close, it takes hardly anything to find yourself fourth or twelfth, but that’s all part of the game.”