Ecclestone ‘hoping upon hope’ Ferrari can fight Mercedes for F1 title

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Formula 1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone is “hoping upon hope” that Ferrari can mount a serious challenge to Mercedes for both championships in 2016.

Mercedes has dominated proceedings in F1 over the past two seasons, winning 32 of a possible 38 races as teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have only had each other to contend with for the drivers’ title.

After enjoying a resurgent 2015 and putting in an impressive display at pre-season testing, there is hope that Ferrari can pose a serious threat to Mercedes in the 2016 season, starting next weekend in Australia.

Speaking to the Australian Grand Prix podcast, Ecclestone said that he hopes Ferrari can give Mercedes more of a fight this year.

“I’m hoping upon hope that Ferrari will get back to where it should be, which will be challenging for the world championship, and the same with Red Bull,” Ecclestone said.

“I think if they really don’t sort of show that they can win the championship, we’re going to unfortunately – or fortunately depending on where you are – have Mercedes dominating again.

“But having said that Nico – after three wins at the end of last year – maybe he’s going to be in form. If those two are challenging each other it would be good. Maybe he’s got a bit more confidence in himself, let’s see.

“I haven’t got any predictions, a lot of hopes, but I wouldn’t like to put my money on who’s going to do what.”

The Australian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN on March 20.