After getting back on its feet in 2015 and returning to the top step of the podium after two years away, Ferrari enters the new Formula 1 season with a great deal of expectation resting upon its shoulders.
Sebastian Vettel is widey regarded as being the only driver who can end Mercedes’ dominance and break up the Hamilton-Rosberg stranglehold at the front of the pack, and after an impressive showing in pre-season testing, hopes are high for the onlooking crowd – including Bernie Ecclestone.
TEAM: Scuderia Ferrari
CAR: Ferrari SF16-H
Pole Positions: 1
Fastest Laps: 3
Laps Led: 186
Drivers’ Championship Positions: 3rd (Sebastian Vettel); 4th (Kimi Raikkonen)
Constructors’ Championship Position: 2nd
5. Sebastian Vettel (GER)
7. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN)
2015 TEAM RECAP
Ferrari made a noisy return to the top table of F1 last year as the new regime of Sergio Marchionne and Maurizio Arrivabene got to work. With the power unit struggles that blighted its efforts in 2014 now resolved, Ferrari made an early impact in 2015 as Vettel won just his second race for the Italian marque. Two more victories would follow, and although the German could not mount a serious title challenge, he once again emerged as a threat to the leading drivers in F1. Kimi Raikkonen had a quiet season en route to fourth in the drivers’ championship, showing flashes of his old self that convinced Ferrari to keep him for another year.
Given the dominance that Ferrari enjoyed in the early 2000s, it seems odd to think that a little over 10 years later, the neutral is now willing the Prancing Horse on. Realistically, Ferrari is the only team that can rival Mercedes for the championship this year. Testing was encouraging as both Vettel and Raikkonen led on multiple days, yet with Mercedes failing to truly unleash the pace of the W07, quite how close Ferrari is at the from remains unclear. Nevertheless, with Vettel at the wheel, beating last year’s haul of three victories will be the minimum goal for Ferrari.