Ferrari have lucked into their current position as Mercedes’ closest rival according to former Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo.
The Italian team have struggled recently, finishing 3rd in 2013 and then 4th in 2014 with just two victories during those two years, leading to the departure of then team principal Stefano Domenicali and replacement Marco Mattiacci.
Di Montezemolo followed in their footsteps after an internal power struggle with Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne who has now taken over the role of chairman.
Things have begun to look up under Marchionne and his key appointment, Maurizio Arrivabene, to the role of team principal.
However speaking to Repubblica, Di Montezemolo suggested their podium finishes and Sebastian Vettel’s win in Malaysia was down to luck and their rivals misfortune.
“I sincerely think they have been a bit lucky,” he said. “This year, except for Mercedes, they have no other rivals.
“Williams hasn’t improved, Red Bull has imploded – I know [Dietrich] Mateschitz is thinking of selling, he’s told a common friend: ‘Either I convince Audi to enter, or I’m out’ – and McLaren is in dire crisis, so now Ferrari starts every race with a podium in its pocket.”
The 67-year-old also said he made a mistake in talking down Ferrari’s chances this year, suggesting it led to his departure.
“Perhaps I wouldn’t have been so imprudent in December as to say that 2015 would be an ordeal, that huge mistakes in the preparation of the new season were made, and that winning a couple of races would be a miracle. But anyway, that’s the past.”