Sebastian Vettel has moved to cool expectations ahead of his maiden season with Ferrari.
Vettel replaces the McLaren-bound Fernando Alonso at Ferrari for 2015, but joins a team in the midst of an overhaul following a miserable 2014 season, in which the Scuderia failed to win a race all year.
While Vettel believes the team is making progress, he says people should not expect too much too soon from Ferrari.
“There is a lot of change going on, new people in new positions – including myself,” Vettel said at the launch of the team’s 2015 car on Friday. “So, it always takes a bit of time to settle in until you really start to make proper progress.
“I am confident we are going in the right direction but it would be wrong to immediately expect a lot [from] us.
“We need to remember we are coming from a 2014 season where there was one team very dominant, so it will be very difficult to arrive there from the beginning.
“For us the main target is to start to really work together, start to make progress, hopefully catch up more and more as the season progresses.”
New Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene believes the team should aim for two wins in 2015, an ambition Vettel agrees with.
“I think we would be happy with that,” he said. “But of course we would be happy if we win more.
“We have to be realistic. There is a lot of change that’s happened over the winter.
“I think the most important thing is we start getting into the groove quickly in winter testing and then we start to make progress.
“If the situation is like last year, it will be very difficult to fight for victorys. But that’s our goal, we’re not here to finish second.”
Kimi Raikkonen will partner Vettel at Ferrari, and the Finn says he is excited to be working alongside the four-time champion.
“I’m looking forward to working with Sebastian this year,” Raikkonen said. “It will be interesting working together for the first time but we have a good understanding which will help.
“The main aim is to get the team moving forward. Then we will try to fight against each other, in a good way, to push each other on to do better things.
“Sebastian has had a great career so far and he has a few more trophies than I do. He still has a long career ahead of him and I’m happy for him to join, we’ll both try to do well and put the Ferrari at the front.”
This article first appeared on Richland F1 – Images courtesy of Scuderia Ferrari