Sebastian Vettel has tested twice already in 2016, despite not even setting eyes on Ferrari’s new car.
Indeed, while most of his rivals remain in their winter slumber, German Vettel recently ran a 2014 Ferrari at Fiorano.
And on Tuesday at an artificially-watered Paul Ricard, he was running in last year’s red car for Pirelli.
As for the 2016 machine, however, Vettel told reporters in France: “We are starting to assemble it. I’ve seen how it should look, but I have not yet seen it in one piece.”
Vettel also admitted he also has a kilo or two to shift after a relaxing Christmas season with his young family.
His boss Sergio Marchionne has set Ferrari the ambitious target of de-throning Mercedes this year, and Vettel said he is happy to try to achieve it.
“It is in our nature that we want to win,” he said.
“We have a big team but I guess that if you asked each individual employee, most of them would say we want to win. We also know this is an ambitious goal.
“We have not forgotten that the gap to Mercedes last year was still quite big. Now it will depend on what kind of work we do in the winter,” said Vettel, “and starting on the right foot from the first test.”
President Marchionne, however, says Ferrari should win immediately this year, beginning with the season opener in Melbourne.
“Australia is one world championship race of 21,” said a more cautious Vettel.
“If we win there, fabulous. If that is not possible, we want to get as many points there as possible. It’s a very long season.”