Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo has warned the excited tifosi that the Scuderia still has ‘lots of problems to resolve’ and that ‘Mercedes will be the team to beat’ in F1 2010 – despite the highly encouraging and pace-setting low-fuel form demonstrated by both Felipe Massa and new recruit Fernando Alonso during the opening pre-season test at Valencia last week.
After Massa had led the way on the first two days – definitively banishing any fears that he might have lost some of his edge as a result of his life-threatening Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying accident last summer – Alonso took over for the third and final day around the Circuit Ricardo Tormo and similarly topped the timesheets, leaving the two scarlet machines sitting pretty at the head of the order at the close of proceedings, comfortably clear of rivals Sauber, McLaren-Mercedes, Renault, Mercedes Grand Prix, Scuderia Toro Rosso and Williams.
di Montezemolo, though, urged caution – and it is clear that after the disappointment of 2009, this time around the Italian is keeping his expectations firmly in-check.
“These pre-season tests are like the month of August in football,” the 62-year-old told respected sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport. “The only positive thing so far is that the car seems to have been born well. We still have lots of problems to resolve, and we must keep our feet on the ground.
“We don’t know how fast the others are yet, and how much fuel they have had on-board. The lap times of Alonso and Massa mark an encouraging first sign, but it’s still too early to give any kind of proper judgment. I think Mercedes will be the team to beat; then there is Red Bull, who I am sure will be very competitive, given the advantage with which they ended last year – and McLaren will be up there too. Yahoo! Sports
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