The Italian outfit has been tipped as one of the early favourites going into this weekend’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix after a pair of productive tests at Barcelona and Bahrain

Ferrari’s F1-75 challenger was both fast and consistent as Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz racked up the highest mileage of any team across the six days of running with a combined total of 788 laps. 

Mercedes pair Lewis Hamilton and George Russell both highlighted Ferrari as the team that is looking the most impressive going into the new campaign, but team principal Binotto continues to downplay the Scuderia’s prospects. 

"I think focusing on ourselves, it has been six days positive,” Binotto told F1 TV. 

“Because we're running consistently, learning a lot from the car, getting a lot of data, cross-correlating with back at Maranello, wind tunnel and simulator. That was the first objective, and I think that we achieved it.

“Then in terms of performance it's very difficult to judge. I still believe that both Red Bull and Mercedes are the main [favourites], I think they are the ones that won last year, both world champions, driver or constructor, they have proved to be very strong teams in the past, they had a second of advantage at the end of last year.

“I think there is no reason why they're not the favourites today. So for me, they are the favourites.

“I think as Ferrari, we should try to be at least outsiders, try to be as close as we can. And if we look at the performance, so far, so difficult to judge. Certainly I hope that it will be very close at the end altogether.”

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Mercedes has claimed to be on the backfoot going into the new season after a difficult test in Bahrain but Leclerc believes both Mercedes and Red Bull are yet to show their true potential. 

"Fast I don't know," Leclerc said. "Reliable it is. This is a good start. It doesn't really mean anything until now. The fact the car is reliable and we can do many, many laps helps us.

"I am pretty sure Red Bull and Mercedes will remain the teams to beat. We are working hard and it looks not bad for now but we have to keep working.

"Mercedes are hiding their gains massively. Red Bull also. They and McLaren are all teams that haven't shown their real performance yet. Neither did we show maximum performance but we don't know how much margin they have."