Ferrari says that just being closer to Mercedes next year is not good enough – as it 'must' get itself in front of the German car manufacturer.
With Ferrari preparing itself for another step forward on the back of the progress made this season, team boss Maurizio Arrivabene made clear that its ambition was straightforward.
When asked by Motorsport.com what progress he was expecting for 2016, he said: “If you want my honest expectation, it is not to be closer to them but to be in front of them.
“I will tell you with humility, but being closer – we are closer even now. We must be in front next year.”
Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda suggested in the build-up to the Brazilian Grand Prix that Ferrari's engine was now a match for his team's power unit.
And although Arrivabene said such comments aroused suspicion, he felt that there was even more to come from his engine division.
“If Niki says so, I am quite suspicious to be honest,” he said. “But looking at the data, we are there, because our engine department did a great job.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank all of them because the engine is the core of the car and we have other parts of the car where we have to work.
“But this year was not possible to make some huge changes, so we look forward for next year.”
He added: “Of course, we cannot go next year with the same engine as this year. This is what we are doing. We are looking forward to improve the car in every single part.
“The engine was a big improvement for this year and for next year we are working very hard on all the parts of the car.”