Scuderia Ferrari does not want to accept the “favourite” status ahead of the 2017 Formula 1 season, as Ferrari chief Sergio Marchionne explained, speaking to media in Geneva. The new F1 championship begins next weekend, when the Australian Grand Prix is scheduled to take place in Melbourne and the Italian team’s performance during the testing sessions has lead to many discussions regarding the chances of fighting with Mercedes for the championship.
Although Mercedes has won the past three titles and has completely dominated the competition, Lewis Hamilton said that Ferrari should be considered favourites for the 2017 Formula One season, given the results from the two pre-season testing sessions that took place at the Circuit de Catalunya, while team chairman Niki Lauda also added that for Mercedes things will not be as easy as last season. However, Scuderia Ferrari German driver Sebastian Vettel insists that Mercedes is still the favourite (“Our car is certainly better than last year. But Mercedes have traditionally slowed down in tests and then fly at the races. They are still the ones to beat.”), and Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne now confirms this idea: “We had two goals for the Barcelona tests. Firstly, to be competitive with Red Bull Racing and secondly to have a reliable car. But as far as I am concerned, Mercedes is still ahead.” – the CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said.
Sergio Marchionne also commented on the difficult situation which former Ferrari rival, McLaren-Honda, is currently going through: “I wish them a good recovery.” As for the 2017 Formula 1 season more generally, the Italian-Canadian executive added:”It is going to be interesting. The cars are so much faster and the drivers will really have to earn their money. I think they will be much sweatier when they get out of their cars.”