Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali believes Red Bull remain one of the team’s to beat in 2014 despite a disastrous opening test in Jerez.
The current quadruple world champions were one of the big stories in Spain though not for a positive reason as they and the other Renault-powered teams struggled with misbehaving V6 turbos.
On the contrary Ferrari had a decent start running steady distances with few issues, since there has become a belief among technical experts that perhaps the Italian team and their customers could have the edge technologically over even the Mercedes power unit which completed nearly twice the mileage in Jerez.
Despite that Domenicali remains wary of the Red Bull threat.
“If the nature of the problem is clarified, Red Bull can quickly make up for the lost miles,” the Italian told the sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“In two weeks, they could have solved all the problems,” he predicted.
“One must never underestimate such a strong rival.”
As is always the case when associated with the legend of Ferrari, talk of anything other than a tilt at the world championship is greatly frowned upon with Domenicali himself declaring it “a tragedy” if the Prancing Horse was unable to end it’s six-year wait for any title whether it be Constructor’s or Driver’s.
“We started in the right way,” he revealed. “There were no bad surprises.
“There are signs that our project is solid, and that gives us cause for hope. But we won’t really start to see the balance of power until after the last Bahrain test.”
One of the expected stories of 2014 is the partnership of now Ferrari stalwart Fernando Alonso alongside the man he replaced Kimi Raikkonen.
Though some are predicting fireworks between the pair, the boss is taking an alternative look believing Alonso will ”make the most” of the new regulations because he is “extremely intelligent”.
Meanwhile of Kimi, Domenicali believes he is seeing a “much more mature” man than he saw back in 2009 and one who is “more closely knit to the team”.
“He comes to Maranello almost every week to work with the engineers,” he revealed.
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