Maurizio Arrivabene expects Ferrari to be in front of Mercedes next year
"If you want my honest expectation, it's not to be closer to them but to be in front of them," team boss says. "I tell you with humility."
By Mike Wise
Last Updated: 20/11/15 2:40pm
Maurizio Arrivabene expects Ferrari to be in front of Mercedes next season, when he says they will improve “every single part” of their car.
The Scuderia's team principal was speaking after the Brazilian GP, in which Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen finished third and fourth behind Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton - but where Vettel thought they were as close to the Silver Arrows in terms of race pace as they had been for "many, many races".
Asked afterwards whether Ferrari can be even closer in 2016, Arrivabene replied: "If you want my honest expectation, it's not to be closer to them but to be in front of them. I tell you with humility but we are closer even now; we must be in front next year."
Arrivabene agreed with his driver's assessment and didn't think Mercedes - for whom Rosberg took pole position half-a-second faster than Vettel - were holding anything back in the race.
"Today is not an invention, if you look at the numbers it's absolutely like this. Without the pace car and everything it was somehow the race where we were closer to them than any other," he said.
"Unfortunately on most of the laps we were a bit far from them, so they constructed an advantage and I think they deserved the victory."
He added: "They were pushing; at certain points they were pushing very, very hard.
"Only Mercedes know, but from our data I think that they were pushing."
After a winless 2014, Ferrari and Vettel have claimed three victories this season after improvements that have centred upon a larger, more powerful engine.
With 25 development 'tokens' available, there's plenty of scope for further gains in 2016, although Arrivabene stressed that the entire car would be overhauled.
"We are looking forward to improve the car in every single part," he said. "The engine was the big improvement for this year; next year we are working very hard on all the other parts of the car."