As the title fight continues, the big fear is that as soon as one of the teams gains an advantage, the other will turn its attention to 2022. Indeed, as the battle for midfield supremacy swings one way and then the other, the chances are that this too will die down as focus switches to next season.
Asked what criteria Alpine is looking for before stopping all 2021 development and focussing entirely on 2022, Marcin Budkowski admits: "It's a question we ask ourselves every year...
"We certainly have a bit less resources than Ferrari or the top teams to do that so we are more used, if you want, to having to make difficult decisions and difficult choices," continues. "The reality is just two criteria: one is, at the moment, the '22 regs are very, very immature and every time we actually go in the tunnel and testing we have pretty significant gains so that means it's a very fast evolving prototype because it's so immature.
"At the same time, the gains we are making on this year's car because of relative regulation stability are quite small. So we have to make a call between how much longer can you work on this year's car for potentially small gains, against what are you going to sacrifice for next year, and once you approach it this way, it's fairly clean that there's more to gain, working on next year's car than there is to gain on this year's car.
"It's painful because we are all racers and we all want to - especially when we're in a catch-up game - to actually accept that we're not going to develop this car for as long or as much as we would like to but in the big picture that's the right thing to do."
At Ferrari, Sporting Director, Laurent Mekies admits the decision has already been made.
"It's for us very clear," says the Frenchman, "the vast majority of our resources are on 2022.
"It's an efficiency race now. We had to choose, we have made our choice and we are pretty much on full push on 2022.
"It doesn't mean that you will not see things coming here and there but certainly the vast majority of the effort has switched already.
"Already on one side it's painful," he admits, "because the gaps are small this year. But on the big picture it's clear for us where the strategy needs to be pushing and that's for next year's car.
"Again, it doesn't mean that we will not have a good fight with the midfield during the next twenty races but we'll have to do that on a race-by-race basis without counting on the flow of parts coming."