Ferrari Formula 1 chief Maurizio Arrivabene has admitted that the team was surprised to make such a strong start to the 2017 season, but remains wary of the challenge posed by Mercedes and Red Bull.

Ferrari endured a winless 2016 campaign that saw tension brew at Maranello, only for much of it to be released when Sebastian Vettel won the season-opener in Australia.

Vettel claimed a second win of the year in Bahrain and leads the drivers' championship after four rounds, with the 2017 SF70H car being a match for defending champion team Mercedes.

Arrivabene admitted on Friday that the team was not expecting to make such a strong start to the year, but urged caution in the face of competition from Mercedes and Ferrari.

"We are happy, of course. We were not expecting to be here but I'll add that the hard work is paying back," Arrivabene said.

"I'm very, very pleased for the overall team, for the guys that are here, the guys in Maranello, that they are working very, very hard. Having said so, I saw how Red Bull was growing here in Barcelona and how they are competitive.

"Mercedes have to defend the title of the world champion, and we are still focused on the race after race work and we try to do all our best to make the race interesting."

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