Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali is adamant Ferrari "will be in the fight" when the season kicks off in Australia this weekend.
Although the Italian conceded the Maranello squad has not reached its preseason goals in terms of performance, he insists the situation is far from clear ahead of the first race of the season. Despite the difficult winter, Domenicali says his team must wait to see where it stands once the racing gets under way. He says Ferrari will continue to be focused on improving its form whether it starts the season strongly or not.
"Everyone is eager to get going with a new challenge," said Domenicali. "It's going to be a very long season and, at least as far as see it, a very unpredictable one: there are many teams who look like being in the hunt, especially in the early stages.
"We arrive in Australia knowing we have not reached our goals in terms of performance for a variety of reasons, which we have discussed at length over the past few days. However, I wish to repeat what I said before, we still need to wait a few days before knowing where we stand in relation to the others.
"I'm convinced that we will be in the fight and we will be there right to the end. I said the same thing at the end of last season: if we happen to do well in the first race, we will not be making a show of ourselves, just as we must not feel downhearted if we are not competitive at the highest level.
"All we must do is stay focused on the job of developing the car. The championship does not end until the end of November, which is something we should never forget."