Mark Webber has said that he expects Ferrari will be on the pace when the F1 season gets underway, just days after Fernando Alonso tipped the Australian's Red Bull team as the one to beat going into 2011.
Ferrari has enjoyed a solid pre-season thus far, despite Alonso running into problems for the first time in Barcelona this weekend, with the Spaniard completing more running than anyone else during the three tests to have been carried out so far.
Ferrari has also turned more laps than anyone else as the third pre-season session draws towards a close and Webber admitted that the performance of the men from Maranello would make them major players from the opening race.
“Fernando works for them and he's pretty handy,” Webber told the BBC
when asked who Red Bull's main rivals will be. “Ferrari finished the year very strong and they've come out of the gates very strong; the car is running, it's always out there, they aren't hanging around when they are out there, they're pretty quick and the team are always organised.”
By contrast to Ferrari, McLaren has endured a mixed start to life with the new MP4-26 and Webber admitted it was tough to tell how competitive the cars of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button will be.
“We're not sure what's going on with McLaren,” he said. “It's obviously early days with their car.”