Ferrari has launched the car they hope will see them take the championship challenge to Mercedes in 2016.
The SF16-H was revealed online in a series of videos and photographs. The traditional red livery has been given a twist this year with a predominantly white engine cover. The car comprises 100 different metal alloys, 20,000 different pieces for gearbox, chassis and engine, and spent 1,500 hours in the wind tunnel. It features a shortened nose and a tapered rear end.
Following a year where they were the only team to beat Mercedes on track, Ferrari are confident for the year ahead.
“This year is the year for us,” Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene said. “We have to demonstrate that the expectation of the public is going to be satisfied by our result. Of course it’s not an easy task because our competitors – especially Mercedes – are not waiting for us to be beaten but I think we try to do our best. We’re not going to the races to play – we want to go to races to put our red and white car in front of the others. But, I recognise that our competitors are very very strong.”
“It is certainly a very bold car but then it needs to be,” James Allison explained. “If we look at last year’s car, we were working to improve a baseline that was really quite poor so you could make big steps. To improve a car that was already quite reasonable – last year’s car – to make something this year that was also a big step forward, you need to take some bolder steps. You need to be able to be braver and to work across the entire car in an aggressive way.”
“That is something that we have done on the chassis side and on the power unit,” he continued. “On this year’s car we have a very high proportion of new, bold approaches and that is necessary for us to make the sort of step forward that we need to make.”
Four time world champion Sebastian Vettel joined Ferrari last year and took three wins for the team and finished third in the championship. “I think last year was very good for us, very positive,” he said. “Obviously the success that we had early on helped to stabilise the team, but nevertheless it is still a very young team with a lot of new people. I think you can feel it going round in the factory – everyone is fired up and we want to win. The target is clear, the expectation is there but I think that’s also where we want to be.”
Kimi Raikkonen, who has raced five seasons with the Scuderia, revealed he had not made many changes to his preparations for the season ahead. “We do the normal things over the winter and obviously want to have a stronger season,” he explained. “It’s just putting small things together. I think we did a better job at the end of the year – we’ll see where we are with the car and then go from there and see what happens in the races.”