Mercedes-Benz’s Paddy Lowe made statements this weekend suggesting Scuderia Ferrari poses the biggest threat to their chances of winning a third-straight Formula 1 World Championship in 2016.
Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of today’s pre-season tests in Barcelona, Lowe said Ferrari is still their biggest rival and also noted they’ve made some “innovative” changes to the their car in the off-season.
“We see Ferrari as our main threat and it remains to be seen how we position ourselves in the weeks to come,” Lowe told Sky.
“Ferrari are a very strong competitor and one we worry about. It keeps us motivated to keep us pushing all the time.”
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg, who came in second in the 2015 Driver’s Championship behind teammate Nico Rosberg, echoed Lowe’s statements in regards to Ferrari.
“We take our opposition very seriously – especially Ferrari,” Rosberg said. “For sure, they are going to be a big threat so we need to keep pushing. Who knows where we are going to be first race?”
While Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was fastest in today’s test in the new SF16-H, Mercedes by far turned in the most amount of laps, with reigning champion Lewis Hamilton completing 156 circuits of the Spanish Catalunya Circuit. Vettel, who turned in 56 laps, later noted that lap times are not important at all in such a test but did say the SF16-H is a “step forward,” from the SF15-T of last year.