Scuderia Ferrari technical director James Allison believes that talk of the Italian marque mounting a challenge for the constructors’ championship is “not realistic” in spite of Sebastian Vettel’s victory at the Malaysian Grand Prix two weeks ago.
Vettel clinched Ferrari’s first win in almost two years at the end of last month, beating the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg firmly and fairly on track.
The result came as a shock to the F1 community, which had previously deemed Mercedes to be unbeatable without some kind of divine intervention such as reliability woes or rain.
In practice for the Chinese Grand Prix on Friday, Ferrari continued to impress by producing a long-run pace that was within a few tenths of Mercedes’ efforts whilst enjoying greater durability with its tires.
However, Allison believes that those hoping for a Ferrari championship bid in 2015 are likely to be disappointed as the team sticks to its pre-season target of two wins.
“I think that we’re up against a car, in Mercedes, and others too, that are strong competition,” Allison said. “But Mercedes in particular, they have a bit more horsepower than us and a bit more downforce than us and until we’ve closed those two gaps it’s not realistic to talk about title challenges.
“Our objectives were set out at the beginning of the year, we thought it was realistic to score a couple of wins and of course we’ll take whatever comes our way and we’ll do our best to make our car close up as much as we can.
“Who knows what after that during the course of the year, but I think that sticking with the objectives we stated at the beginning of this year is still realistic.”
You can see how Ferrari get on in qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix on NBCSN and Live Extra from 3a ET on Saturday.