'Ferrari no stronger in 2017 - just more of the same,' says Briatore

Flavio Briatore (ITA). Yas Marina Circuit.

Flamboyant pundit Flavio Briatore, who always has a handy metaphor or two up his sleeve, just compared Ferrari to an old Roman bakery using the same old dough.

The former Renault boss, whose claim to fame this year is attending Donald Trump's presidential  inauguration, says it will be just more of the same for the Scuderia this season.

"The team is still the same," said Briatore.

"When you have the same oven and the same bakers, the quality of the bread is also the same. It seems to me that the only thing different is that (Sergio) Marchionne has made no statements."

Indeed, the Ferrari CEO has kept it under wraps so far, refraining from offering bold predictions which in the past only served to set everyone up for disappointment.

As for Briatore, his money is on Red Bull Racing emerging as Mercedes' main challenger, although the task of beating the Silver Arrows will be huge.

"Unfortunately, Mercedes' advantage is unbridgeable and they have a driver in (Lewis) Hamilton who last year had fun playing the DJ and skiing.

"But this year I think his attitude will be different," he told the Italian broadcaster Sky Sport 24.