Ferrari’s star driver Sebastian Vettel and his team boss Maurizio Arrivabene have set clear targets of taking on Mercedes for the Formula 1 World Championship this year with the team's new SF16-H contender.
Speaking at the unveiling of the car, which is a radical departure from many design themes used on last year’s machine that finished runner-up to Mercedes in the Constructors’ Championship, they both said that 2016 has to be a year Ferrari contends for the titles.
“I think naturally goals are growing, we had a fantastic year last year – my first season with the team – so naturally we all want more,” said Vettel.
“Last year we finished second in the constructors’ championship, so it’s only one more step – which is a difficult one to take, but hopefully this is one that helps us achieve it.
“We have improved in many areas when I came in, more or less this time last year, with a lot of people changing their position and in new positions.
“I think it [2015’s car launch] was a difficult time to really have some expectations, now we have had a better winter to prepare and therefore I think we will be a strong team as we have seen last year, but even stronger this year.”
“This year we need to push more”
Team chief Arrivabene also stated that taking on Mercedes was the prime goal for 2016.
“Normally I don't set [the] objective, it is my boss,” said Arrivabene. “Last year’s objective was three victories and we got it, this year we need to push more.
“It is going to be for the championship at least, we would like to fight until the end for the championship.
“We know it will not be easy, our competitors are not sleeping or looking at what we are doing, we are all committed to do our best.
“We hope that this will be a winning car and it will be a myth for us – this car is the result of the commitment of many, many people, logistics, and this car will head off to Barcelona in a few hours and there we will test its real value.
“We go to the races, respecting our competitors and recognising their value – especially the guy that won the championship last year – but we are all committed to do better and better and better.”