Ferrari will not change season's target despite good testing form

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer
Kimi Raikkonen in action during day one of Formula 1 winter testing at Circuit de Catalunya
Kimi Raikkonen in action during Formula 1 winter testing at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain

Ferrari say their impressive form in pre-season testing has not changed their low-key expectations for the new Formula 1 season.

Team principal Maurizio Arrivabene said that winning two races was still their target despite the new car's consistent pace-setting performance this winter.

"I am not so crazy as to change the objectives now," Arrivabene said.

"Winning two races will be fine. Three will be perfect. Four and I run 100km without shoes to the Maranello hills."

Ferrari enter 2015 on the back of their least competitive season for 21 years and with a reconfigured team following the sacking of a swathe of senior engineering managers last year.

Arrivabene was appointed only in November, and was the third team principal of the year following the resignation of Stefano Domenicali in April and the sacking of his replacement Marco Mattiacci after just seven months in the job.

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Arrivabene, who said he wanted to be "realistic" about Ferrari's potential, added: "The first objective was to put together the team and put everyone in the same direction.

"I don't believe in the winter champion.

"We have made some progress compared to last year and this is quite clear but I am not going to tell you we are going to fight for the championship.

"Beating our competitors, especially Mercedes, is something out of our minds.

"I have my feet on the ground. The spirit is together and that is good. We have two fantastic drivers and we go all in the same direction. That is important for me."

The ructions of 2014 led to the departure of lead driver Fernando Alonso, who has been replaced as Kimi Raikkonen's team-mate by four-time champion Sebastian Vettel.

Finnish driver Raikkonen said at this week's second pre-season test: "It's a completely different car, different story. We are happy with it so far but there is a long way to go.

"The team are working well together. The team have produced a very nice car so we have to be happy where we are right now, but it is still early days and I'm sure if we keep working in the same way we can get where we want to be."

Arrivabene also said Ferrari have agreed to supply the former Marussia team with 2014-spec engines in 2015, if a deal can be finalised to revive the outfit - which is now called Manor - and return to the grid.

"We said we are going to supply them with the 2014 engine," Arrivabene said. "There is nothing in writing yet but the answer is yes."