Ferrari remain confident it will offer Mercedes a serious challenge this year despite delaying its development plans for its new car.
The Scuderia has revealed that it halted plans to develop its 2016 car last year in favour of extracting the potential out of its SF15-T.
Ferrari enjoyed a resurgence last season as it established itself as Mercedes’ nearest rivals with Sebastian Vettel scoring three race wins for the Italian manufacturer.
Following a strong 2015 campaign, the team has no concerns that the delayed start in developing its 2016 car will hamper its performances this year.
Ferrari boss Sergio Marchionne believes the new car will prove to be a serious threat to F1 pace setters Mercedes.
“Maurizio (Arrivabene, team principal) will tell you we delayed some things to allow for the 2015 car to be finished,” said Marchionne.
“Hopefully he will not bitch about this. We pushed the start of some of the work on the ’16 cars on the chassis, delayed it a bit.
“But we have had adequate time and adequate financial resources to do the right thing given the rules.
“So I’m confident we will give Mercedes a run for their money.
“We approached the 16 car with a very clear idea and very clear interpretation.
“It is incredibly unlikely that the car will not offer Mercedes a proper challenge.
“For me to determine whether it will win or not would be very gutsy.
“I have no excuses to give you this year, in the sense that we started developing the car at the proper time.”
The new Formula 1 season will begin at Melbourne’s Albert Park from March 17-20.