Ferrari can consider themselves to be one of the teams that had a successful winter’s work in Barcelona during testing.
Both Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel set the two quickest times around the Circuit De Catalunya, and they’ve done enough to have the Mercedes camp worried.
It’s not just on outright pace, where Ferrari were clearly holding back, that the Prancing Horse were competitive.
The Scuderia completed almost 1,000 laps and along with Mercedes were the only team to complete Grand Prix distance runs on multiple occasions.
It is important not to take testing as gospel, despite Lewis Hamilton’s best attempts to make Ferrari favourites after an intriguing pre-season.
After a solid 2015, Ferrari were predicted to take 2016 by storm but as the season wore on it became clear that they were flattering to deceive, with strategic errors in Australia and Canada and failure to develop the car as the season wore on.
After himself having a tumultuous season last year, Vettel wasn’t quick to point out that the Barcelona form guide is only a vague one.
“It’s impossible to predict anything,” he told Sports Bild. “Even the tests in Barcelona only give a basic idea where you stand.
“It is only in the first race that you will know how well you and the others have worked over the winter. We’ll only get real clarity after three or four races.”
Despite his caution, Vettel still that a title at Ferrari is still in the question, after his predecessor Fernando Alonso left after he lost confidence in the Maranello squad.
“If not, I wouldn’t go to the start grid.
“All I can say is that the spirit in the team is good, everyone is working for everyone else’s benefit.”
Raikkonen, who won the 2007 World Championship with Ferrari, believes that the team have made a step forward compared to last year.
“There are a few small issues but if we look a year ago, we are in a much stronger position. The car is reliable and we have to be positive with how we have gone forward as a team.”
Jack Prentice @JPrentice8