Ferrari SF90 pictures and reactions: Vettel ‘hungry as ever’ for F1 title challenge
New car excites the Tifosi ahead of the 2019 battle with rivals Mercedes
Ferrari SF90 F1 2019 car launch
- Full team name: Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow
- Car name: the SF90
- 2019 drivers: #5 Sebastian Vettel and #16 Charles Leclerc
- 2018 result: second in the constructors’ championship
Scuderia Ferrari have made major changes ahead of the 2019 Formula 1 season but star driver Sebastian Vettel is confident that the team are on the “right path” as they aim to end their championship drought.
The Italian F1 team is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year and to mark the milestone their 2019 challenger has been named the SF90.
Launched on 15 February with a glittering ceremony at their Maranello base, Ferrari unveiled the SF90 to the world and Vettel said he is excited for the new season, his fifth with the Scuderia.
The German, a four-time F1 title winner with Red Bull, said: “We’re all excited. You start to see the car, little bits of it at the end of last year and then you see it come together but today is the first time you see it.
“It’s incredible to see when everything gets together - I can’t wait to get in. I think the team is on the right path and hopefully we can continue improving.”
Big changes at Maranello
Ferrari have not won the F1 drivers’ title since Kimi Raikkonen in 2007 and are without a constructors’ championship since 2008.
Last season they finished second in the constructors’ standings behind Mercedes and Vettel finished second in the drivers’ championship behind Lewis Hamilton.
The lack of title victories have prompted big changes at Maranello during the close season.
Charles Leclerc, 21, has replaced Raikkonen as Vettel’s driving partner for 2019 and Scuderia veteran Mattia Binotto has taken over from Maurizio Arrivabene as team principal. Binotto becomes Ferrari’s fourth team principal in five seasons.
Monégasque driver Leclerc said: “I am extremely excited to start this new adventure. It’s an emotional day and a very proud day for me.”
On his new driver partner Vettel, Leclerc added: “It’s an opportunity to learn from Sebastian. I am pretty sure it will be an amazing season but I am sure we’ll make it.”
Speaking at the launch of the SF90, Binotto added: “This car is a development of last year’s car, it’s not a revolution. We’ve tried to push the bar, try to be some extreme as we could. Some changes like the front wing for the regulations.
“If you look at the details, we’ve tried to push hard, be innovative. If you look at the bodywork at the back, it’s very slim. It’s thanks to the entire job we’ve done. A lot of effort has been done. We like it.”
Ferrari will now take the SF90 to Spain for the first pre-season test at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona from 18-21 February.
F1’s second pre-season test event will also be held in Barcelona from 26 February to 1 March. Australia hosts the opening grand prix of the 2019 F1 season on Sunday 17 March.
Camilleri: Vettel is hungry for success
Speaking at the SF90 car launch Ferrari CEO Louis Camilleri said the team and its new principal and driver partnership are ready for a milestone season.
“This year is an important one as we celebrate our 90th anniversary,” said Camilleri. “It’s an important milestone. As a team we carry the hopes, expectations and pride of an entire nation and fans across the world.
“Last season was our best in ten years yet we fell short of the objectives. We look ahead with strong commitment and determination.
“We begin a new exciting chapter in our history led by Mattia Binotto. I have every confidence he will lead the Scuderia to ever greater heights.
“Despite his four world titles Sebastian Vettel remains as hungry as ever. He is totally devoted to achieve his and our ambitions.”