Date: 19th November 2015 at 10:00am
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The Gauntlet has been thrown down for the 2016 Formula One World Championship.

To-date the era of v6 turbo-hybrid power-units has been dominated by Mercedes.

With just one race of 2015 to go, Mercedes have wrapped up back-to-back drivers titles with Lewis Hamilton, back-to-back F1 constructors titles and Nico Rosberg has achieved back-to-back second place finishes in the championship.

Over the span of the 2014 and 2015 FIA Formula One World Championships there have been 37 Grand Prix.

Hamilton and Rosberg have stood on the top step of the podium 31 times and have completed a perfect one-two finish 22 times.

In comparison Ferrari have struggled.

In 2014 Fernando Alonso and Kimi Räikkönen stood on the podium on just two occasions with Alonso finishing third in China and second in Hungary.

Ferrari finished fourth in the constructors championship behind Mercedes, Red Bull and Williams.

They took giant steps forward in 2015 with new driver Sebastian Vettel enjoying the fruits of all of the hard work in Maranello.

Vettel has won three races in 2015 and Ferrari have finished second in the constructors championship.

But whilst results have not indicated a potential change of the guard at the front end of the Formula One grid, Ferrari have significantly closed the gap to Mercedes.

Mercedes might have continued to dominate the results in 2015, but not with the apparent ease they did in 2014.

Experts in the paddock believe the Ferrari power-unit is now a match for the Mercedes engine and Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene believes another successful winter will put Ferrari ahead of Mercedes for 2016.

‘If you want my honest expectation, it is not to be closer to them but to be in front of them, I tell you that with humility, but we are closer even now so we must be in front next year.’ Arrivabene told ESPN.

‘Looking at the data, we are there [on power] because our engine department have done a great job and I want to take this occasion to thank them because, for us, the engine is the core of the car. I know we have other parts of the car where we have to work but this year it was not possible to make some huge changes. But we look forward for next year.’

‘We are looking to improve the car in every single part. The engine was a big improvement for this year, and next year we are working very hard on all the other parts of the car.’

 

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