Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne: Sebastian Vettel win proves we are contenders

Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne says Sebastian Vettel's win in Bahrain proves the team's Australian Grand Prix victory was not a one-off and that it will be "at the forefront" of the championship until the end of 2017.

Vettel moved into the outright lead of the drivers' championship in Sakhir, winning his second grand prix in three races. The victory hinged on several key moments, including Vettel and Ferrari's aggressive pit strategy which seized the initiative early on after he had jumped Lewis Hamilton off the line for second position.

Marchionne, who once again released a statement immediately after his driver's victory, said there can be no doubting Ferrari's pace now.

"It is, of course, hugely satisfying to be back on the top step of the podium with Seb," he said. "More importantly, however, we are now completely confident that our victory in Melbourne wasn't just a one-off and that we will be at the forefront of this World Championship until the last.

"We finally have a competitive car to count on and it is important to recognize the speed with which we implemented the developments demanded for each new race."

Lewis Hamilton's pace at the end demonstrated Mercedes is very much a match for Ferrari at this stage and Marchionne thinks it is vital Ferrari does not rest on its laurels at this stage of the season.

"All this is the fruit of superb work at the track and in Maranello, so my compliments not just to Seb for his achievements in Bahrain, but also to the whole team. Congratulations to Kimi too on a good race. That said, we are well aware we have a long road ahead and know that if we want to get to the most important finish-line of all, we cannot stint on our commitment and focus for a second."