McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl has expressed his elation to again be battling Ferrari - even if it is only for Formula 1's 'best-of-the-rest' tag.
McLaren and Ferrari are two of the most successful and iconic teams in the history of the sport although neither has savoured title success for many years.
The pair still share 24 constructors' championships between them, with Ferrari on 16, while they comfortably top the drivers' title standings, with the Scuderia winning 15 to McLaren's 12.
Whilst McLaren has been in a rebuilding process for a number of years and finished third in the constructors' standings last year, Ferrari was able to bounce back from its worst campaign last season since 1980 to score a double-points finish in Bahrain.
Speaking about the renewed rivalry this year, Seidl said: “I think with everything we have seen at the test and also across the weekend it shows Ferrari has made a big step forward compared to last year which is not unexpected.
"We always said we never underestimate the ability of a team like Ferrari with all the history and all the resources they have, with all the experience to come back quickly, so it is not a surprise."
Seidl has also paid tribute to the quality of Ferrari's current driver line-up that now includes Carlos Sainz following his move to the Scuderia over the winter.
“They have two great drivers as well and I’m simply looking forward to battling with Ferrari again this year," enthused Seidl.
"How it will play out, it is simply too early to say but I’m definitely looking forward to battling this great team.”
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