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Wolff anticipates stern Ferrari challenge in 2016

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says he expects a tougher contest from Ferrari next year to defend its place at the top of Formula 1.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says he expects a tougher contest from Ferrari next year to defend its place at the top of Formula 1 having seen the Italian squad gradually erode the deficit over the course of 2015.

Despite the reigning F1 champions still holding an edge in qualifying, with both Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton over half a second clear of Sebastian Vettel over a single hot lap at the Brazilian Grand Prix, Ferrari have gradually been closing in on its rivals in terms of race pace.

This pressure has seen Mercedes opt for conservative strategies to combat the threat of Ferrari and Wolff believes the trend will continue into next season which he says his team must prepare for.

“I am anticipating a robust challenge from Ferrari because they have done some clever moves, and they have definitely caught up,” Wolff said. “You can see that even towards the end of the race today Sebastian was not very far away, when Lewis and Nico pushing flat out biggest gap was seven seconds, that is not a clear-cut, dominant race win. I think we will have a situation where Ferrari will be a very important competitor.”

In Brazil, Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene confirmed his squad has made huge strides forward with its power unit – but brushed off Niki Lauda's comments that they have matched Mercedes – and is expecting Ferrari to make similar gains with its chassis developments in 2016.

Vettel is the only driver in 2015 to beat the dominant Mercedes duo of Rosberg and Hamilton, with three wins in Malaysia, Hungary and Singapore.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
30.10.2015 - Free Practice 1, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T and Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W06
14.11.2015 - Free Practice 3, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W06 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T
Australian Grand Prix FP2 long run graphic [credit: Crash.net]
Australian Grand Prix FP2 long run graphic [credit: Crash.net]
24.03.2017 - Free Practice 2, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
24.03.2017 - Free Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
24.03.2017 - Free Practice 2, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32
24.03.2017 - Free Practice 2, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C36
24.03.2017 - Free Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
24.03.2017 - Free Practice 2, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
24.03.2017 - Free Practice 2, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
24.03.2017 - Free Practice 2, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
24.03.2017 - Free Practice 2, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
24.03.2017 - Free Practice 2, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
24.03.2017 - Free Practice 2, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C36 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
24.03.2017 - Free Practice 2, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
24.03.2017 - Free Practice 2, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB13
24.03.2017 - Free Practice 2, Atmosphere

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George Zaidan

November 19, 2015 9:50 AM

btr100: Ferrari is planning a big overhaul of its engine design, and they are going to develop the new aero package similar to RedBull design. They have huge potential and they know it. And Vettel is a big bonus to that package.
That about sums it up and hopefully F1 will become exciting again.

Taipan

November 19, 2015 11:49 AM

Hypoc: In more serious news I quite like that lulu designed agusta to the point of going to get one, should I just buy it or should I seek professional help? #notsure
Do you get a free hat with it? I believe the hat was a no cost option on Richard's latest Merc. Oh and Lulu wont care if Ferrari are challengers next year as he's said "It's hard to know how good Vettel is as he's always had team mates like Webber or Kim, he's never had a team mate like Alonso" He went on to gibber "I wouldn't call it confidence I just have extreme faith in myself, that's the key to winning" So that's Schumacher, Vettel, Kimi and Webber he's insulted in 2 weeks, what an arrogant little fart.



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