Formula One (F1) legend Alan Jones believes that Mercedes are still ahead of Ferrari for the upcoming season and will likely score their third consecutive constructors championship. However, the Australian was quick to mention that he would love to see the Prancing Horse give Mercedes a run for their money.
“I think Mercedes are doing their old tricks – I think they’ve been sandbagging [in testing], and I think they’ve been doing laps with full tanks [of fuel] and so on” Jones said via an Australian Grand Prix podcast.
The 69-year-old Alan Jones also believes that Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull Racing should replace Kimi Raikkonen at the Ferrari seat for the 2017 season. It has to be noted that Ricciardo, along with Nico Hulkenberg (Sahara Force India) and Valtteri Bottas (Williams) were linked with the Ferrari seat this season before the team from Maranello, Italy decided to stick with Raikkonen.
“Kimi’s a little bit lucky to be there [Ferrari]. But I also think Ferrari has done the right thing in that the person you know is better than the person you don’t know.” Jones said.
The 1980 World Champion believes that Kimi Raikkonen does put up a good race occasionally, however it is not enough to guarantee him the much coveted Ferrari seat. Jones believes that the only reason the man from Finland is driving for Ferrari is that he is known well by the team.
On being asked about whether Ricciardo’s career will stall after failing to make the Ferrari move this year, Jones stated that he believes the 26-year-old will fare good this season since Red Bull will feature a TAG engine from Renault. This will open the door for Daniel to land up in Ferrari next season.
Alan Jones also appreciated Renault for getting back into the sport as a manufacturer and hopes that the team from France will be able to step up their engine development.
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