Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo says he is hoping that predictions the Italian squad will not be capable of fighting for top-three results at the start of the F1 season prove wrong.
Technical director Pat Fry said at the end of testing last week that he believed the Maranello squad was not competitive enough to fight for the top places at the start of the year after a difficult winter of testing. Asked if he was excluding podium finishes at present, Fry said: "At the moment, I'd say yes. But I suppose I'm always slightly pessimistic."
Di Montezemolo is hoping the predictions prove wrong when the season starts, but suggested he would like Ferrari to recover quickly if that is the case.
"I hope these predictions don't turn out to be correct," di Montezemolo told Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport. "Should that be the case, I'd like to know how many seconds it takes to recover."
Di Montezemolo acknowledges that Ferrari will not really know where it stands until the season kicks off, but he is aware that it may take time to unleash the car's potential.
"I've spoken with Alonso: he's told me there are many positives with the car, but highlighting them will take time," he added. "It's a car that needs to be discovered and improved, and only in Melbourne we'll know where we stand."