Ferrari play down their Shanghai chances

Date published: April 1 2015

Ferrari technical director James Allison has warned the team will have their "work cut out" if they are to repeat their Sepang success in China.

The Scuderia returned to the top step of the podium for the first time since May 2013 as Sebastian Vettel beat the Mercedes cars of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg with a two-stop strategy.

The victory took many people by surprise as Mercedes were dominant in the season opener in Australia, but Allison says they had a "decent cooling package" for conditions in Malayasia and things are likely to be different at Shanghai next weekend.

Asked to compare Ferrari to Merc, he replied: "I only know one half of the equation, which is our car. I know we have a pretty decent cooling package for which a lot of credit needs to go to the cooling team in the wind tunnel and also in the drawing office, who have put together a fairly innovative package on our car. That allows us to operate even in these fierce temperatures without having to open our car up badly.

"The track is quite rough and hot, which is hard for tyres, and we are fortunate that the car goes quite well on its tyres. Quite what problems are being carried on the other side of the equation in Merc-land, I don't know, but I'm fairly sure that we will have our work cut out in China to do anything like as impressive a job as we have done here."

Although he admits they are not yet able compete with Mercedes from the word go at every race weekend, he believes they have an "exciting development programme".

"In Melbourne Mercedes were very, very dominant, but even in free air we couldn't have held a candle to them in Melbourne. There's a lot of work for us to do before we can come to a race weekend confident that we can hunt for victory from the first session of the weekend. But we do have an exciting development programme and we've got a lot of performance to bring."