Mercedes boss says ‘Ferrari needs to be in the mix’ as pre-season testing kicks off

Testing will get underway in Spain on Wednesday, giving us the first indication of which teams have nailed the new technical regulations.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says he would like to see Ferrari back in the hunt for race wins in 2022 and that he has “missed” their presence at the pointy end of the field.

Ferrari have not won a title since their 2008 constructors’ crown in 2008, while Kimi Raikkonen remains the Maranello squad’s last drivers’ champion in 2007.

In that time, Mercedes have claimed eight constructors’ titles, and seven drivers’ trophies through Sir Lewis Hamilton Nico Rosberg.

Despite the marquee acquisitions of Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso, they have agonisingly missed out on glory, but the new technical regulations introduced ahead of this year could well help them break into the conversation with Red Bull and Mercedes having ended 2021 third in the Constructors’ Standings.

Though he may be rivals with the Italian giants, Wolff backed up Vettel’s comment in 2016 that “everyone is a Ferrari fan,” and said would like to see them return to the front of the Formula 1 grid soon.

“As a fan, I love Ferrari,” the Austrian said.

“They are the greatest name in Formula 1, and it cannot be that Ferrari is not competing for race victories and titles.

“Winning championships is something different, many things have to come together to achieve that, but I think for all us fans of the sport Ferrari needs to be in the mix and we’ve missed them in the last few years.

“The passion of everyone at Ferrari and also the Tifosi in Italy, it’s important to see that the car is competitive. So I hope there will be a few of us who are able to win races and [are] fighting hard on track.”

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The Scuderia have not won a race since Vettel’s victory at the 2019 Singapore Grand Prix, so Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc will be eager to get them onto the top step in 2022.

Ferrari unveiled their 2022 car, the F1-75, last week, and will take part in the first day of pre-season testing at Barcelona on Wednesday.