Ferrari upbeat after bright start Down Under

Sat Mar 14, 2015 7:07am EDT
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By Julian Linden

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Things are starting to look brighter for Ferrari even before the first race of the Formula One season, and it is about time.

After a dismal year, when the Italian team failed to win a single Grand Prix for the first time since 1993, 2015 could only get better.

The early signs have been encouraging. On Saturday, Sebastian Vettel qualified fourth for the Australian opener while team mate Kimi Raikkonen was fifth.

With five world championships between them, the Ferrari drivers know what it takes to win. Both are excited by the improvement Ferrari has shown but too streetsmart to get carried away just yet.

"Let’s keep our feet on the ground," said Vettel. "So far this weekend, it’s gone well and we’ve had no problems with the car.

"It’s a shame that third place escaped us, as that would have made us the first team behind Mercedes, but it wasn’t by much and, after all the race is tomorrow."

Mercedes still have a big advantage over the rest, but Ferrari are in the mix behind them.

Four times world champion Vettel, who joined Ferrari this season from Red Bull, said he might have qualified higher but for a mistake.   Continued...

Ferrari Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany drives during the third practice session of the Australian F1 Grand Prix at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne March 14, 2015.    REUTERS/Brandon Malone