Marchionne: Ferrari at the same level as Mercedes

Cape Town - Sergio Marchionne has "tremendous confidence" that Ferrari will put in a strong finish to this season despite their title hopes obliterated by reliability issues.

Both Scuderia drivers have suffered engine issues in recent weeks, however, it is Sebastian Vettel's troubles that have hit the hardest.

A broken spark plug last time out in Japan meant the German fell 59 points adrift of Lewis Hamilton in the race for the World title.

And although Ferrari's chances of championship success are all but over, Marchionne hailed the progress that the Scuderia have made this season.

"The season is not lost, there's still all to do," Reuters quotes him as having told Class CNBC television.

"I won't talk of bad luck, I don't believe in it.

"The important thing is to not lose the confidence that has brought us so far.

"I'm delighted with what the team has done and I have tremendous confidence that in the next four races we will be able to close most of the Mercedes gap."

He added: "Without being arrogant, I think it (the car) is at the same level if not better than Mercedes' today.

"I'm sure if we'd not had any problems like in the last three races, we would be having a different discussion."

The Ferrari president once again vowed to ensure that the Scuderia get on top of their quality control issues.

"We need to renew our commitment to the quality of the components we use for F1. 

"On at least three occasions it has had a devastating impact on the Scuderia’s performance. We will fix it."