Sebastian Vettel says from he’s seen over the winter Ferrari’s team spirit “is right and on track” after going through changes to its management structure.
The Italian outfit parted company with former team principal Maurizio Arrivabene in late 2018 after four years of service, promoting technical director Mattia Binotto to succeed him as Ferrari boss.
The team has also tweaked its driver line-up for the first time since 2014 as Charles Leclerc partners Vettel in just his second season in Formula 1.
Despite its slump in the second half of last year that cost Ferrari clinching both championships, Vettel believes it has every reason to be confident it will address its 2018 weaknesses and begin this season in a much stronger position.
“It’s a big change [this season] but Mattia has been with the team longer than I think most of the people that work for Ferrari, so he’s not a new face,” said Vettel, speaking at the inaugural season launch event in Melbourne.
“I think people know him, and have learned to trust him. It’s a new challenge but I think for the whole team we try to obviously turn the page [on 2018].
“We had our weaknesses last year here and there and we obviously try to fix those and do much better this year. So far, the spirit is right, the team is on track, the car feels good so let’s see how we start the year.”
New team-mate Leclerc mirrored Vettel’s thoughts on Ferrari’s expectations, with the Monegasque curious to see if its pace in testing will transfer to qualifying on Saturday.
“I’m very relaxed too, only I want to get back on track finally,” Leclerc said. “It’s been quite a long break. Testing went very well.
“It looks positive so now I just want to race again. I can’t wait to hit the track on Friday.
“I think qualifying will be a very good moment. Obviously it will be the first time this season when every team and every cars are maxing out their potential. I’m curious to see how it goes at that time.”