Fernando Alonso fears a stressful summer break should he lose further ground to Formula One world title rival Sebastian Vettel this weekend in Hungary.
Although Alonso has stepped on to the podium five times this season, including victories in China and Spain, he finds himself 34 points adrift of Vettel ahead of Sunday's race at the Hungaroring.
The form of the Ferrari in qualifying has again proven the team's Achilles heel as Alonso has failed to start from the front two rows of the grid in the last five races.
That has left Alonso playing catch up during a grand prix, and in turn in the championship battle as Vettel chases his fourth consecutive title.
Should there be a repeat this weekend for Ferrari and Alonso, the 31-year-old Spaniard will head off into F1's two-week summer shutdown in a sombre mood.
"A good result here is important because it is the summer break now and it will be good for the motivation of the team and our focus if we can close the gap to Sebastian," said Alonso.
"If the gap increases then it will be a very stressful break for all of us, resulting in less motivation, so it's an important weekend."
It was in 2003 in Hungary Alonso won his first grand prix, a feat he has since failed to repeat in nine attempts.
That is likely to stretch to 10 if Alonso is unable to plant his car in a good position on the grid.
Appreciating his own difficulties, Alonso added: "For the four years I have been at Ferrari qualifying has been missing.
"Our best strategy is to start close to him (Vettel) on the grid, attack him hard in the opening laps and make his race difficult.
"But we don't start close to him and we can't make the decisive blow at the start."
Alonso can only hope his situation will improve after the break when the sport crams in nine races in 14 weekends and Ferrari will boast a major update on their car.
"We will try to close the gap a little here," said Alonso.
"Even if we don't have a revolution on the car, we think we know what the problem is and hope that after the summer we will be closer."