The true 2015 pecking order will still not become clear at this week’s Barcelona test.
That is the view of new Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene, after the Italian team surprisingly topped the times at the first test of the winter at Jerez.
Now, the sport is setting up at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya, where the final two tests before Melbourne will take place.
“Obviously the most important test will be the last one,” Arrivabene told the blog of Ferrari insider Leo Turrini.
“The simple reason is that it is only then that teams must throw away their masks and show their cards for Melbourne,” he predicted.
“Mercedes was hiding at Jerez,” said Arrivabene, “and you must always expect positive surprises from Honda.”
So he said not much can be read into Ferrari’s chart-topping Jerez pace.
“No one can sell smoke, even if I have worked in tobacco for a living,” the former Marlboro executive laughed.
“I have big dreams but also feet planted in the ground. I say to our fans to believe in the effort we are making, bearing in mind the situation in which we began.”
But he said the atmosphere at Maranello is now totally different, due in part to the arrival of Sebastian Vettel from Red Bull.
“I was around in Michael (Schumacher)’s time,” said Arrivabene, “and I confess that there are times when I look at Vettel and, in some ways, it really seems like a carbon copy of Schumi!
“There are impressive similarities,” he added, “for those who have known both. We all hope that the results are the same as well.” (GMM)