Allison pleased with Ferrari race pace in testing

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Ferrari technical director James Allison is pleased with what the team has achieved during pre-season testing as the Italian marque looks to bounce back from a disastrous 2014.

Ferrari finished fourth in last year’s constructors’ championship, marking its worst season in F1 since 1993. Fernando Alonso led the team’s charge with two podium finishes, but was ousted at the end of the year to make room for four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel.

Throughout pre-season testing, Ferrari has certainly fared far better than it did in 2014, showing a one-lap pace that is comparable to that of Williams and Red Bull.

On Saturday, Kimi Raikkonen completed the team’s first full race simulation in Barcelona, and Allison was pleased with what had been achieved.

“We’ve got a lot of laps under our belt in this winter testing, but until you actually go out and do the laps for a race, one after the other, and not stopping except to change tires, you really can’t claim that you’re ready to go to Melbourne and do it for real,” Allison said.

“So we’re happy to get our first race distance of the winter done, happy to have achieved at the first attempt, and with the reliability that we showed. I’m pleased with the testing we did over the last two days, which shows clearly that the car works as we expected.

“I think what we see is a well-mannered car, so we expect these characteristics to be broadly carried over to the other races.”

Sebastian Vettel will complete Ferrari’s winter testing programme in Barcelona on Sunday, with the season-opening Australian Grand Prix being held in two weeks’ time on March 15.