Eric Boullier has expressed his surprise at the pace shown by Scuderia Ferrari during last week’s pre-season testing, as the prancing horse regularly pressed the Silver Arrows on track.
The McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team director considers Ferrari to be a viable contender for this year’s championship, especially considering the advantage gap that Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team had this time last year seems to have been reeled in over the winter.
Boullier does admit that definite comparisons are difficult owing to the teams running with different, and unpublicised, levels of fuels. But their reliability and pace over the week was hard to ignore, especially when running on a firmer tyre in comparison to Mercedes.
“You don’t know the level of fuel, you don’t know the level of, especially the Mercedes engine, when you switch down the power, but if I may say something it’s maybe that the Ferrari is surprising, maybe people were not expecting Ferrari to be matching Mercedes in times,” he said.
Ferrari may have shown some good form but Boullier expects everyone to be holding something back, and these “secrets” will only become apparent in the season opener in Melbourne.
“Red Bull a bit down but you never know the fuel level. Everybody has got it on secret. Everybody is changing the plans,” he added.
“So even between teams we try to find out or sort out who is doing what. It’s not easy. I guess the next week test will be a bit more revealing about performance but definitely we will have to wait until Australia.”