The Italian F1 outfit Ferrari revealed that they are delayed work on its 2016 F1 car to permit it to completely build up the race-winning SF15-T 2015 season.
Ferrari closed the gap to champions Mercedes in 2015 and scored three victories, but was unable to mount a serious challenge over the course of a season.
Ferrari and Fiat Chrysler president Sergio Marchionne is confident the delay will not have an impact on it providing an uncompromising challenge to Mercedes next term.
“Maurizio [Arrivabene, team principal] will tell you we delayed some things to allow for the 2015 car to be finished,” Marchionne quoted as saying by Autosport.
“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.”
Ferrari team boss Arrivabene also said this week that all will become clearer February, when the new cars get up and running at the first Barcelona test.
“I know the work we have done and are doing,” he said. “We have some idea of what the others are doing, but needless to say it is pointless to say at this stage of the year that you are number 1.
“On February 22, we will try to understand where we are and where are the others. Then there will still be a month before the first race to know if it is necessary to improve or if we are strong enough, while still putting in the effort,” Arrivabene added.