MARCH 30, 2017
Ferrari to shine in China too says Alesi
Jean Alesi thinks his former F1 team, the great Maranello marque Ferrari, is finally ready to challenge for the title.
The Frenchman, whose only win for the Italian team was in 1995, said Ferrari's decade-long wait for a world championship could now be over.
"The step into the new regulations was very unclear," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "There were a thousand doubts about what Mercedes or Red Bull would do.
"But after Australia, I now expect Ferrari to confirm that performance in China. The ease with which Vettel followed Hamilton in the race was astonishing, while Hamilton had no chance to follow Vettel.
"When a car is good from the beginning, the development is also easier," Alesi added.
However, former F1 team boss Flavio Briatore thinks it is a little early to say Ferrari will definitely fight for the 2017 crown.
"We will get a clearer picture in China," said the Italian.
"The Ferrari victory was great, but Melbourne is a special circuit and I still expect big things from Red Bull and Mercedes. In an ideal case, we will have a three-way fight for the championship."
Another former Ferrari driver, Italian Ivan Capelli, is also cautious about Ferrari's Melbourne showing.
"I think the victory had a lot to do with Mercedes and Red Bull taking a step back with their suspension," he said.
And former Toyota and Renault driver Jarno Trulli concluded: "Ferrari's initial position is right, but each of the top three teams has all the resources they need to develop efficiently through the season."