In Depth

F1: can the Ferrari SF1000 bring title glory back to Maranello?

Scuderia launch their 2020 car at a spectacular event in Italy

It was a spectacular celebration of all things Italian in Reggio Emilia on Tuesday evening as Ferrari launched their 2020 Formula 1 car, the SF1000. 

In a gala event held at the Romolo Valli Municipal Theatre, the unveiling featured a full orchestra, choir, ballet dancers, a DJ set and even a flashmob as Ferrari officials and drivers spoke about the car which has been built entirely at the team’s headquarters in Maranello.

The name SF1000 has been chosen because at some point in the 2020 season Ferrari will make history by becoming the first team to take part in 1,000 F1 grands prix. 

Speaking at the launch of the “extreme” SF1000, team principal Mattia Binotto said: “The starting point was the car of last year, the SF90. 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].”

Quoting the words of founder Enzo Ferrari, Binotto added: “Give a child a piece of paper and some crayons and ask them to draw a car and it will definitely be red.”

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Ferrari SF1000 F1 2020 car

Ferrari

Ferrari SF1000 F1 2020 car

‘Thirst for victory’

Without a constructors’ championship since 2008 and a drivers’ title since Kimi Raikkonen’s victory in 2007, Ferrari will hope that the SF1000 can help them end their drought and stop Mercedes’s domination. 

Ferrari president John Elkann says the team’s “thirst for victory” is strong.

He said: “We are proud to represent Italy around the world. Even though Ferrari has won 238 of the 991 Formula 1 races run to date, our thirst for victory is stronger than ever. 

“In the coming season, we will continue to face very tough opposition, but that only serves to spur us on to do more and to do even better. 

“What distinguishes us is the amazing collective effort of everyone in Ferrari’s Gestione Sportiva, both on and off the track. That is our strength.”

Ferrari SF1000 F1 2020 carFerrari SF1000 F1 2020 car

Leclerc and Vettel on ‘same level’

Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel will again be tasked with bringing glory back to Maranello and the drivers have been told they can go into the new season ready to race.  

When asked about the relationship between the duo, Binotto said: “It’s developed. Charles has got a year’s experience with us. They will be on the same level, they can both fight to be ahead. So let them race.”

Leclerc, 22, says working hard as a team will be key to Ferrari’s ambitions in 2020. 

“I always set the bar very high in every season I do, not in terms of results but in terms of preparations and focusing on the job I need to do in the car,” he said. 

“I rarely focus on the results just because I think if I work well the results will come and if we work well as a team the results will come. I’m focusing on that. I’ve been training harder than ever to get ready for the season. I feel ready now.” 

On the SF1000 Leclerc added: “I can’t wait to be in the car and see where we are compared to the others. I think it is always emotional when you see a new car and the SF1000 is not an exception.

“I felt emotional when I saw it and you can see all the work from the guys here at Maranello, what they have done to get the car where it is now. I can’t wait to get on the track and try it.”

Vettel, 32, added: “It’s an incredible achievement and a lot of hours that goes into the car. I like it a lot.

“We had the opportunity to see it before [the launch] and to have a direct comparison with last year’s car and you can really spot the differences. Especially when it comes to packaging and the back part of the car. It’s also more red than last year!”

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