Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne on Tuesday admitted the Maranello team might have to wait for its next F1 title.
"2018? Absolutely, but we will try to do it a little before," he smiled at the Geneva Motor Show, according to Italian media reports.
Ferrari has emerged from the chaos of 2014 with a car that insiders believe is in a close group behind obvious pacesetters Mercedes.
"We will be on par with Red Bull when we go onto the circuit," Marchionne explained, "but we will go to the track and see.
"I don't want to be critical, but the situation when I arrived was not good. The men and women of Ferrari have done amazing things that I never would have expected in these four months."
Indeed, he said Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel are happy with the SF15-T, but the reigning champions Mercedes "should not be underestimated".
"Last year they did something great, and they are prepared to do it again. We will try to stop them," the Italian-Canadian insisted.