Ferrari reveals title challenger SF71H

This is the Ferrari SF71H that will challenge rival Mercedes in this year’s Formula 1 world championship.

The halo-fitted new racer was shown off at Ferrari’s Maranello base, four days before the start of pre-season testing at Barcelona.

It features the Italian outfit’s traditional red livery, although the colour white has been reduced in contrast to its immediate predecessors.

The SF71H is the first Ferrari Formula 1 car since the 2009 machine not to feature Santander branding, following the Spanish financial giant’s decision to end its sponsorship deals.

The Scuderia heads into the season with the same driver line-up as it’s fielded in the past three years, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.

Both were present at the launch, alongside the team’s new development driver Daniil Kvyat and Ferrari-backed Sauber reserve Antonio Giovinazzi.

The 2017 car’s predecessor, the SF70H, was Ferrari’s most competitive offering in years, helping Vettel to five race wins.

It sustained a credible title challenge against the hybrid era’s dominant team Mercedes for most of the season, before late-campaign accidents and engine reliability woes allowed the Silver Arrows to break away.

Ferrari’s tech chief Mattia Binotto confirmed the SF71H was an “evolution” of last year’s design, but also revealed the team has moved to a longer-wheelbase design, akin to the one preferred by Mercedes in 2017.

On the engine side, Ferrari is to start the season with an evolution of last year’s design. It is thought to have focused on reliability in particular, given last year’s problems and with Formula 1 moving to a limit of three engines per season.

High hopes rests on the success of the SF71H in terms of victories. Ferrari and the passionate race fans are expecting a more competitive and trouble-free season that will lead to that elusive Formula 1 title. Best of luck to the Scuderia.

3 thoughts to “Ferrari reveals title challenger SF71H”

  1. Ferrari’s new SF71H Formula One car already looks a big step up from last year’s before it has turned a wheel in anger, four times world champion Sebastian Vettel said at Thursday’s unveiling.

    The sport’s oldest and most successful team are hoping the car, with more red and less white in the livery following the departure of sponsor Santander, will take them to a first championship in a decade.

    Vettel won five races last season but finished runner-up to Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, who is now also a four times world champion.

    “Now is the time when you see the car, it’s all ready and you want to get in and go out on the track and have a go,” the German told guests at the Italian team’s Maranello factory.

    ”To stand here now is very special for all of us. I think they are all waiting for us to say how it feels. So we can’t wait to get out on track to see how the car performs, how it behaves.

    “I think that’s the answer that we all want to hear and we go from there. For sure, the amount of effort that has gone in and the attention to detail in so many areas is impressive.”

    The presentation, online and through social media channels, came on the same day that Mercedes were showing off their new F1 W09 car.

    In an act of sportsmanship, the British-based team made sure reporters attending their event at Silverstone could watch the Ferrari unveiling on television screens during a break for lunch.

    Ferrari technical head Mattia Binotto said the car, narrower and with a slightly longer wheelbase as well as more aggressive sidepods, was an evolution of the 2017 one which performed well on slower speed circuits but lacked reliability.

    “Every little detail matters, every part can make a difference and I think this year’s car is a big step from last year’s,” declared Vettel, who won his four titles with Red Bull between 2010 and 2013.

    Finnish team mate Kimi Raikkonen, who is now 38 and out of contract at the end of the season, said it looked good despite the addition of the now mandatory halo head-protection device.

    “When it looks nice, the speed is also there. But obviously we will see that next week,” said the 2007 world champion who will be testing the car with Vettel at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya next week.

    Source: Reuters

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