Former Formula 1 driver Marc Surer has admitted that he believes Mattia Binotto's recent comments which outlined a problem with engine reliability for Ferrari, despite their impressive showing in testing, and has speculated that the reason for the current issues may be due to overheating.
Last week, as he played down the Maranello team's superiority, team boss Binotto said of the 2019 car: "I would like to see it more reliable overall.
"To win we will have to be the strongest and we are not yet."
Many observers thought Binotto's comments were a typical ploy to step away from the favourite role.
But Surer thinks there is some truth behind the Italian's words.
"They had various problems in testing," he told Germany's Sport1.
"It makes me wonder. If you only have one problem, you can solve it, But when they are different, that's difficult. I think it might have something to do with overheating. Ferrari has a very slim rear end, with few air intakes and a very small airbox."
However, Surer agrees that Ferrari has "a small advantage" over Mercedes in terms of pace.
"The advantage became much smaller in the second week," he said. "I'd say it was half a second in week one and maybe two tenths in week two, but they're ahead."