This year, the fight at the front was monopolised by the utter dominance of Mercedes, as Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg shared 16 of the 19 wins between them.
But Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda told La Gazzetta dello Sport that Ferrari is “on the right path to make even further progress” in 2016.
Mexican Gutierrez was Ferrari’s reserve driver in 2015, and he told the Spanish sports daily Marca: “Personally I believe that it is going to be closer between the first three or four teams” in 2016.
“There is the news about the return of Renault,” he added, “although that is more for the following years, but I also believe that McLaren is going to recover.
“It (McLaren) is a very good team and I don’t think their car was bad – I’m referring to the chassis – as far as I could tell.
“I believe that a good time for F1 is coming,” said Gutierrez, the former Sauber driver who is returning to the grid next year with the new American team Haas.