The wait is over! Yesterday, The Scuderia raised the curtain to the Formula 1 2020 season with the unveiling of their new car. The Ferrari SF1000, making reference to the number of Gran Prixs that the team would have contested during the present season, is here to try and challenge Mercedes ’ hegemony. Also, the Italian squad will be hoping to put an end to their 13-year-long title draught.
At first sight, the red bullet appears to be very similar to its predecessor but the resemblance is deceiving, as the new model incorporates many important changes. In fact, it is only aesthetically that the new machine resembles the SF90.
In this respect, the livery is still a matt red tone as it was in 2019, although it has considerably less black. We could almost say that that is where the similarities with the previous model end. First of all, the new Prancing Horse displays a generally more robust body, particularly around the central part of the vehicle.
It should be borne in mind, however, that the unveiled model will take the track on the first week of testing (19th -21st February) at the Circuit of Barcelona, but on the second week (26th – 28th February) it will be replaced with a more aerodynamic version of itself.
The greatest number of changes from the previous model can be found at the back of the new design, a lot narrower, as well as in the middle, which is also slenderer than its predecessor. The reduction and compacting of the engine area have brought the design closer to that of Mercedes and Red Bull without becoming as radically minimalistic as the two.
The top airbox has been made bigger and it now contains two voluminous openings. This is part of a global renovation aimed at improving the internal refrigeration of the car. Mounted on either side of the airbox two Viking horns have been installed, similar to those featured on the McLaren 2005 although these are smaller in size. The horns have never been designed into any model of the hybrid era before.
As far as the size is concerned, and although the previous model was relatively big, there seems to be more distance between the axis. The SF1000 keeps the degree of inclination at the tail inherited from the SF90. The side pods, bargeboards and nose have also been overhauled despite at first glance appear similar to the 2019 ones. The nose of the car has been refined with a shorter central cone that has helped increase its overall inclination.
The already large turning vanes on the lower part of the nose have been made even bigger. The snowplow, which proved to improve downforce and overall behaviour at the bends at the Singapore GP when it was first introduced, is still there. Two previously non-existent shoulders, similar to those of the Red Bull, have been installed by the outlet of the S-Duct, next to the antenna used for the transmission of data.
Regarding the engine, team principal Mattia Binotto has declared that this has been made more efficient so as to reduce its fuel consumption by 15% which in turn increases its ability to sustain power. In any case, and as the Swiss boss himself has confessed, the bulk of the design efforts has been focused into generating the greatest possible aerodynamic load.
Initially, the new behaviour of the Ferrari SF1000 should better match the driving style of the questioned head of ranks, Sebastien Vettel. The German four-time champion will team-up with the young Charles Leclerc for a second consecutive year. In 2019 both drivers competed side by side for the leadership of the team.