Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene says his team will be targeting the F1 world championship title in 2016 and hopes at the very least to take the fight to Mercedes at the final round of the season in Abu Dhabi.
The Italian squad officially launched its 2016 challenger, the SF16-H, alongside drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen at its Maranello base with Arrivabene laying out its targets for the new season.
Last year marked a resurgence from Ferrari by taking three Grand Prix victories and being the only team to beat the dominant Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg and eventual world champion Lewis Hamilton. For the new campaign Arrivabene is demanding his team continues its progress and halt the Mercedes charge.
"Normally I'm not setting the objective it's my boss who sets the objective for the team, Arrivabene said. "Last year the objective was three victories, we got it, but I think this year we need to push a bit more, so it's going to be the championship. At least we would like to fight until the end for the championship.
"I know that it's not going to be easy because our competitors are not sleeping at all or are looking at what we are doing, but for sure we are all committed to do our best."
“We hope that it will be a winning car and this car is the result of a commitment of many people. At Barcelona we will test its real values and the outcome of many people's commitments starting from our president. He gave us all the tools and instruments and allowed us to make a great car.”
Last week, Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne says it would a 'tragedy' if it didn't win a championship by 2018 – which would mean the Italian squad would go a decade without topping the tree in F1 – and is therefore demanding Arrivabene and company secures a world title within the next two years.
Arrivabene says the team will get a better picture of what it can achieve after the opening day of pre-season testing, which gets underway at the Circuit de Catalunya on Monday, but is optimistic it can take the fight to Mercedes.
“We are a team and we all have the same goals,” he said. “We go to the races respecting our competitors and recognising their value, especially the guy that won the championship last year, but we are committed to doing better and better. We don't go to the races with a big statement but for sure we go there with a big commitment. Humility is our drive, passion and commitment.
“I will let you know what Ferrari's strengths are on Monday evening after the first test in Barcelona! Our strength is our teamwork and everybody who puts into their job every day. They are especially conscious of the name of the team they are representing that is Ferrari.”