Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne has said Mercedes still remain the team to beat this season and sending a message to them in Barcelona was never their intention.
Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel occupied the top two spots on the timesheets after eight days of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya, but Marchionne insisted that they only wanted to match themselves up against the other front-runner in Red Bull.
“We had two goals for the Barcelona tests,” Marchionne said.
“Firstly, to be competitive with Red Bull Racing. And secondly, to have a reliable car. For me, Mercedes is still ahead.”
As for what the season will bring with the new aerodynamic regulations in place, Marchionne said it will provide drivers with the ultimate test.
“It will be interesting,” he added. “The cars are so much faster and the drivers will really have to earn their money.
“I think they’ll be much sweatier when they get out of their cars!”