We can’t be sure whether Ferrari’s testing pace is a true sign of what’s to come in the season, but it’s clear the Italian team have taken a step forward from their struggling 2016 effort. But at what cost? According to their former engineer, millions of euros. Ferrari were criticised last year for their lack of pace compared to Mercedes. The team continued to develop their 2016 car late into the season in an attempt to catch up to their rivals, but they couldn’t manage to take a win. Which makes the apparent jump in performance we saw at testing even more surprising. Toni Cuquerella, former chief engineer at the team, explained how the improvement has come on the back of “a great investment in development”. “We are talking about an injection of hundreds of millions of euros in tools that allow the testing of most parts of the car,” he said. “Ferrari realised this is the deficit they had to Mercedes.” This investment, at times when many are calling for a budget cap, is possibly controversial. Whilst, on one hand, this level of money is what’s needed to research and develop the best technology, it’s not something any of the smaller teams would be able to afford and highlights the advantage Ferrari, Mercedes, and other big teams have. And if Ferrari doesn’t close that gap to Mercedes this year, there are going to be some tough questions at Maranello next winter… For more Formula One news and discussions head over to the RaceDepartment Formula One sub forum and join in with your fellow community members. Will Ferrari close the gap to Mercedes? Do you think teams should be allowed to spend this amount of money? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.