|© AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Graham Hughes
Bernie Ecclestone believes that it is important for Ferrari to win the title soon considering it was the most popular team in Formula 1.
The Maranello-based outfit hasn't claimed a drivers' championship since 2007 and the constructors' title since 2008 but now is on a resurgent course this season, much to the F1 boss' delight.
"Go round a city on a Grand Prix weekend, it doesn’t matter in which country. Which products are on sale the most in the shops? Ferrari ones. I have never seen shops that only stock McLaren, Mercedes or Red Bull merchandise. There’s your answer already,” Ecclestone was quoted saying on the Ferrari website.
Rival team McLaren however has not singled out Ferrari as its prime concern this year despite its rapid progress.
"We’ve noticed that they have improved quite considerably. The car they started the season with was a bit of a handful," noted McLaren operations director Simon Roberts in a Vodafone phone-in. "But we don’t worry about them anymore or any less than anybody else. There are four or five teams that on merit can easily win any of the races. And as we’ve seen this year, it’s actually more wide open than that with other teams able to get it just right on the day.
"So we don’t underestimate Ferrari or any of the top teams. They know what they’re doing and are pushing as hard as we are. So I wouldn’t single them out - you have to take a broader view these days," Roberts added.