Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel is hopeful his team can challenge Mercedes for world championship glory in 2016.
The Maranello-based outfit enjoyed a resurgent 2015 season, as they finished in second position in the constructors’ championship standings, with Vettel emerging as the main rival to Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
The German finished third in the drivers’ standings and secured three Grands Prix victories during the campaign – in Malaysia, Hungary and Singapore – and he admits he was surprised by how well the team performed throughout the campaign.
He said: “I would say the final result of the team. I wasn’t expecting such a strong season this year.”
The 28-year-old is now hoping to close the gap on Mercedes next year, and he believes the Italian outfit are on the right track to challenge for their first drivers’ title since 2007.
“Well, we want to be competitive next year against Mercedes, so I won’t go into details and tell our secrets,” he added.
“The fact is that we have to improve in a lot of areas, aero, engine etc. but I think the results of this season have shown that we are on the right path, so now we just have to focus on ourselves.”
Vettel finished 103 points behind world champion Hamilton last season and he is available at 4.33 to prise the title away from the Brit in 2016.
The new season will get under way with the Australian Grand Prix on March 20 and Vettel will be keen to improve on the third place finish he achieved in Melbourne earlier this year.