Toto Wolff feels Ferrari have the “strongest power unit” on the grid but concedes the pre-season testing numbers can be “deceptive”.
After two years off the top step of the podium Ferrari are being billed as one of the favourites for this year’s Formula 1 World Championship, expected to take wins and maybe even fight for the titles.
Their preparations are on point, at least after the first test, with Ferrari covering more miles than any other team and also setting headline-making times.
It is being seen as a potential pay-off from a 2021 season in which Ferrari devoted their full attention to their all-new 2022 car, opting not to develop last year’s SF71 during the season.
Last season the Italian stable also introduced an upgraded engine, one that immediately showed improvement and which was used as the basis for this year’s power unit.
A power unit that Wolff reckons may be the best on the grid.
“We feel that Ferrari have the strongest power unit at the moment,” said the Mercedes motorsport boss.
But, he conceded, it is still too early to say who is genuinely the team to beat given that on day three it was Mercedes and Red Bull who came to the fore in Spain.
“You have to see it in perspective,” Wolff continued, “only one of the tests has been completed.
“Ferrari should not be praised too quickly. Winter tests can be deceptive.”
New Mercedes signing George Russell and double F1 World Champion Fernando Alonso both pointed to Ferrari as one of the top teams after testing.
Respected F1 journalist Leo Turrini believes Ferrari have found the sweet spot with the engine but may still be lacking when it comes to the chassis.
He wrote in his latest Quotidiano Nazionale column: “As far as I know, Ferrari are a hundred percent sure they have caught up with the leaders in terms of engine power, despite the switch to the biofuel.”
But while the engine is back on track, Turrini questioned whether the Scuderia’s new F1-75 has the aerodynamics to be a race winner.
“There are still, though, some doubts over some innovative solutions in the field of aerodynamics,” he said. “We have to be careful of too high expectations.
“It should be understood that, if at the first race of the season Ferrari are half a second from both Mercedes and Red Bull, the dream to join the title race is already unachievable.”
Additional reporting from Luca Brambilla
Ferrari have the ‘strongest PU’ says Wolff
Toto Wolff believes that Ferrari have the strongest power unit at the moment.