Date: 7th May 2015 at 12:30pm
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According to Mercedes Formula One non-executive chairman Niki Lauda, Ferrari have closed the gap to Mercedes.

Following the introduction of the new engine rules in Formula One for 2014, Mercedes held a big advantage over the other teams and manufacturers.

The Mercedes power-unit was so good in comparison to both Ferrari and Renault that it aided Williams return to the podium places, from the back of the grid the year previously.

Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg enjoyed a two-horse race for the 2014 Formula One World Championship, eventually taken by Hamilton.

Hamilton has started the defence of his title on form, but Ferrari have closed the gap to Mercedes and a recent engine upgrade has now seen them reduce their power deficit, potentially putting them on a par with Mercedes.

‘Ferrari has closed the gap from last year to this year to nearly zero, I think they increased their engine by about 45 horsepower, so my estimate at the moment is that they have the same power Mercedes has. Lauda told Autosport Magazine.

If the engines are closely matched, the difference between the two teams will all come down to aerodynamic design, the use of tyre compounds, fuel consumption and of course the drivers.

‘So now the difference depends on the car, and what the drivers do.

‘The season is not finished – we’ve only had four races and there will be close racing all the way through the season.

‘Ferrari is very strong, there is no question about it, and as a racing team you should never think that nobody can catch you – that is a big mistake.’