Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc have helped unveil the team’s 2020 challenger, the SF1000, at an extravagant launch ceremony at the iconic Romolo Valli Theatre in Reggio Emilia, some 30km from Ferrari’s Maranello hometown.
After a spectacular introduction, featuring an orchestra, choir and ballet dancers, as well as speeches from Ferrari CEO Louis Camilleri and Team Principal Mattia Binotto in front of a video backdrop of Ferrari’s F1 history, the new car made its appearance.
Binotto confirmed that the SF1000 – so called to celebrate the year in which Ferrari will contest their 1,000th Formula 1 World Championship event – was an evolution of last year’s SF90, the car that finished second to Mercedes in the 2019 constructors’ standings – with the technical regulations having remained largely stable for 2020 ahead of Formula 1’s major rule upheaval in 2021.
However, Binotto was keen to stress that Ferrari had tried to push their concept forward for 2020 as much as possible.
“The starting point was the car of last year, the SF90,” said Binotto. “But certainly we have been extreme on the concept as much as we could… It may look similar to last year but it’s completely different to the one of last year, and a lot of the concepts are very extreme on [the SF1000].”
Binotto also said that a key focus for Ferrari in 2020 would be improving reliability, as well as righting the wrongs of the 2019 season – a year which saw the team outscored 739 points to 504 by Mercedes.
“The [technical] group is still young,” said Binotto. “We still have to grow, we have to learn from our mistakes, we have to capitalise on this and concentrate on reliability, which was one of the weak points last season.
“At the same time we have the 2021 project that… is the greatest change that has ever occurred in F1 since the beginning. We have to be ready for this.”
In Vettel and Leclerc’s hands, the SF1000 will have a simple mission: that of bringing Ferrari a constructors’ championship for the first time since 2008 – while both drivers will also be endeavouring to claim Ferrari’s first drivers’ title since Kimi Raikkonen’s 2007 triumph.
The SF1000 is due to take its first laps in anger in a week’s time, when pre-season testing begins at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on February 19.