Mercedes ahead, but Ferrari are strong – de la Rosa

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Pedro de la Rosa claimed that the superiority of Mercedes, which they showed in 2014, will continue in the new championship campaign, but his now ex-employer Ferrari have made serious improvements over the winter.

The Spanish test driver, Pedro de la Rosa worked for Ferrari for a couple of years, but left the team at the end of 2014 as his compatriot Fernando Alonso also took his farewell of the Italian team.

“The dominance of Mercedes is worrying.” – said the 44-year-old golden tester. “They are expected to have a big margin over the rest in Australia. I am not sure how Mercedes could be defeated. If I were to bet, I would put all my money on Mercedes.”

De la Rosa had the opportunity to test Ferrari’s 2015 machinery in the simulator before his contract expired at the end of last year. He had a good feeling with it already back then.

Ferrari are in a good shape now. The car runs well and the team has a good pre-season behind it. Obviously they haven’t shown what the are really capable of. They ran on different fuel-load compared to the others. The car reacted well to set-up modifications and it seemed to be pretty competitive.”

During the first test in Jerez every test day was won by Ferrari-powered cars. However, Ferrari couldn’t carry that form over to Barcelona. De la Rosa thinks the Italian giant changed its approach which resulted in the slump in form.

“They were very fast in Jerez, then they held something back in Barcelona which was deliberate.”
The Barcelona-born driver disclosed that he has already felt an improvement of the car compared to its predecessor as he could test it after Christmas.

“I was testing the car in the last week of December and I knew the 2015 car was going to be strong. Right after that it was clear that it also works very well in reality.”

According to Italian sources Ferrari are said to take a step back in terms of the power unit as it has revised its programme how they want to use their 32 token allocation over the season. Therefore they are expected to use less developments at the first races which results in less horse power at the dawn of the new campaign.