Sergio Marchionne says the 2016 title is still within Ferrari’s reach.
“Absolutely,” the Ferrari and Fiat president told Bild newspaper. “Of course I still believe in the title.”
The Maranello team has come out this year with a competitive car, but race incidents and also problems with the engine mean Mercedes is still clearly ahead.
“We had two problems with the (power) unit,” Marchionne is quoted by Italy’s La Repubblica. “(They were) Fixed.
“We have to admit that these engines are complex and reliability is a problem that concerns everyone, including Mercedes, as we have seen. It is a sign that they are under pressure too,” he added.
Marchionne said he is happy to have satisfied Ecclestone’s pre-season hopes that Ferrari will be much more competitive in 2016.
According to Autosprint, Ecclestone confirmed: “Ferrari has woken up. They are competitive and should have won the last two races, but they’ve made one or two mistakes and also been unlucky.
“Red Bull was also very, very competitive in the last race,” the 85-year-old added, “but I don’t know if they’ll continue that.”
Finally, Ecclestone clarified his recent comments about the drivers, having slammed them as “windbags” following their recent GPDA letter.
“I never used that word,” said the Briton. “I said they should do what they are paid to do: drive the cars.
“Yes, they are ambassadors of the sport, but one or two of them said how formula one should be managed. We don’t need their opinion because we know it already.”