Sebastian Vettel has urged caution as Ferrari heads into the 2016 Formula 1 world championship season as a potential title candidate and their bosses talking up a big fight before a wheel has even turned
Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne this week issued a bold target of nothing less than overall victory in 2016, beginning with the race win in Australia in March.
Vettel, Ferrari’s lead driver and the only competitor in 2015 able to win races against dominant Mercedes, agrees that the Maranello team made big progress last year.
“Ferrari and myself were prepared at the beginning for a difficult year,” he wrote in a column for the Munich newspaper TZ. “No one expected three victories. But almost more important is the consistency that we had, showing that we are on the right track.
“Nevertheless, there is still much to do and we must not forget where we began. But things that were a little rough in the beginning have now become smoother. I think that, slowly and step by step, everything is coming together,” Vettel added.
“Of course,” the quadruple F1 world champion continued, “the temptation to now think big for next year is very high, but we must not forget all the little steps on the way.”
“Last winter there was a big upheaval in the team with a lot of new people and many changing their position as well, so it is a process that takes time. Hopefully we will have a better year in 2016, but it is still much too early to make forecasts,” Vettel concluded.
Marchionne said earlier in the week, “2016 should be the year for us to return to the top. Our investments have not been lacking.”
“We want to present ourselves in Australia as the team to beat. We know that our rivals are strong, but we are not afraid of them as we are the most successful team in the history of Formula 1,” added the Ferrari chief.