Ferrari staying grounded despite strong pre-season display

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Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene has called for “concentration and discipline” at Maranello in spite of a strong display by the Prancing Horse across the course of winter testing.

Coming off the back of a woeful 2014 campaign, Ferrari made a good start to testing by topping three of the first four days in Jerez at the beginning of February.

Although the team failed to repeat this feat on any of the eight days of running in Barcelona, Arrivabene said that it had hit all of its objectives for testing. Nevertheless, he remains cautious.

“I can say that we have reached our objectives,” Arrivabene said. “The SF15-T is behaving as we’d expected. Kimi, who drove last last year’s car, sees an improvement and Sebastian, who is driving today, is also happy.

“But we all have our feet on the ground, because we know the other teams aren’t sleeping. It’s clear that Mercedes is there, but we have to concentrate on ourselves. At the moment we have a rough idea of our position relative to the opposition, but we know everyone follows different test programmes.

“Therefore, we are following ours, with concentration and discipline, which I believe are the keys to success. I have spoken to the team and I have made this clear.”

On Saturday, Arrivabene took some time out of his busy schedule to sit with the fans in the main grandstand at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Speaking on Sunday, he said that he believes that plans to limit paddock access even further in F1 would be a mistake.

“I heard that in Australia there will be further restrictions in terms of passes for the paddock and so I thought we might as well get used to going to the grandstands!” Arrivabene said.

“I found the people to be very well educated and polite. These restrictions do not seem acceptable: having an ‘exclusive’ atmosphere doesn’t mean having an empty paddock. Golf is maybe one of the most exclusive sports, but there are thousands of people following the players.”

The 2015 Formula 1 season kicks off in Australia on March 15.