Sunday 25 March at 05:35 :
Mar.25 (GMM) Ferrari thinks it has a winning car for 2018.
That is despite the clear qualifying defeat to Mercedes in Melbourne.
But Ferrari official Piero Ferrari, the son of founder Enzo, told La Gazzetta dello Sport: "I expect a victorious Ferrari.
"Our engineers assert that we have a good car and have made good progress. So even if Mercedes is not waiting for us, I expect results," he added.
Ferrari said the results in Australia cannot be taken too seriously in the context of the long 21 race calendar.
"The first race is not always meaningful," said the Italian. "But it's like the first day of school -- the other students notice immediately who has studied more during the holidays."
There is much talk in Melbourne about 'party mode' button on the Mercedes steering wheel, but Nico Rosberg said the real 'party mode' is Lewis Hamilton himself.
So with the Briton out of contract, might Ferrari consider luring him to Maranello for 2019?
Piero Ferrari answered: "He has bought various cars from us. I don't know how many exactly, but the number is at least three. He comes to the factory, picks up his car and leaves.
"What does he have that others do not have? Instinct," he added. "Of course you need the right team and a good car to become world champion, but a true champion brings his own qualities. And Lewis obviously has a lot of them.
"From the outside Hamilton looks extravagant, but in truth he is not. It was similar with Michael Schumacher. He always seemed so closed, but in private at dinner, he was very sympathetic," Ferrari added.