Ferrari delayed the development of the 2016 Formula 1 car in order to improve the SF15-T during the 2015 racing season, Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne has revealed to Autosport.
Rather than devoting its resources to the development of their 2016 car, Ferrari elected to first make the SF15-T as competitive as possible. Marchionne says this slight delay shouldn’t affect the performance of the 2016 car and assured Autosport they will be able to hang with the dominant Mercedes-Benz team once the season gets underway.
“Maurizio [Arrivabene, Ferrari team principal] will tell you we delayed some things to allow for the 2015 car to be finished,” Marchionne said.
“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.”
Marchionne also added that while Mercedes is definitely a team to be “afraid” of, they respect them as competitors and aren’t worried about being able to take the fight to them this year.
“They are competitors to be afraid of because Mercedes is a company which the suitable financial resources to properly manage the races of 2016,” he said.
“They have a high level of know-how so they are not to be underestimated.
“We respect them, they are competitors, but we are not afraid of the battle on the race track.”