Two Ferrari-linked figures are concerned the Italian team could face a tougher test for victory this weekend in China. After a year without victory, Sebastian Vettel put Ferrari back on the top step of the podium in Melbourne.
Gian Paolo Dallara, whose racing car marque is involved with the production of Haas' F1 single seater, said: "It's great that a machine designed by young Italian engineers won. Also true is that overtaking on the track was difficult, and Seb was fantastic but he won thanks to the pitstop. So let's go slowly, because China could favour Mercedes now," he is quoted by the blog of Ferrari insider Leo Turrini.
And legendary former Ferrari F1 designer Mauro Forghieri added: "Maranello has done an outstanding job, particularly on the rear suspension. Although in Australia Ferrari was superior to Mercedes, I doubt they will be in China -- but I hope!" he said.
But even if Mercedes does bounce back in China, Vettel's former teammate Mark Webber thinks the German is still likely to be competitive in 2017. "Tyre management is Sebastian's speciality," the Australian told Germany's Auto Bild. "In Bahrain, Ferrari could be even better, because the temperatures will be higher and the rear tyres are heavily loaded." (GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing