Ferrari’s new SF90 is not revolutionary, according to new team boss Mattia Binotto. He says that the new car is the continuation of the design path of the past seasons.
Ferrari’s new SF90 broke cover at the team’s base in Maranello on Friday morning. Named to honour the team’s 90th anniversary, it bears a striking resemblance to last year’s largely successful design. This is something that Binotto says is not by accident: “I think the car is a development of last year’s car, it’s not a revolution. I think we simply tried to push again, raise the bar, raise the level, tried to be as extreme as we could.”
While the car itself may not be revolutionary, there’s a sense of a fresh start at the Scuderia. Maurizio Arrivabene, who led the team between 2015 and 2018, has left the team. Kimi Raikkonen, still the most recent Ferrari Champion back in 2007, has moved on to the Alfa Romeo squad. Sergio Marchionne, the man who took over from Luca Di Montezemelo as Chairman, is, tragically, dead. Youthful energy and excitement has been injected by appointing Charles Leclerc in the second seat alongside Sebastian Vettel – no driver of such inexperience has sat in a Ferrari in well over twenty years.
New Ferrari CEO Louis. Camilleri paid tribute to those who have left, saying that they will ‘always remain a part of the Ferrari family’. He added: ‘The atmosphere within our team is one where serenity will prevail. Transparency will flourish. We thank the tifosi for their support and loyalty.’ before welcoming Binotto to the stage.
The former technical director, now promoted to team boss, explained some of the changes to the car. He says that the bodywork and aerodynamics have been able to be refined, due to improvements made with the power unit: “I think if you look at it in all the details, certainly we try really to push very hard, being innovative. The roll hoop is very narrow and very slim. If you look as well at the bodywork on the back, very slim I think.
“And that is thanks to the entire job, which you cannot see because it is below, in terms of engine installation, power unit installation, packaging. A lot of effort has been done and I think that the final shape is somehow the result of all this effort and we like it.”
Sebastian Vettel, aiming to bounce back from the disappointment of his fizzled 2018 title bid, was buoyant at the launch. Going for his fifth Driver’s Championship this season, he 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. I’m very excited – it’s incredible to see when everything gets together. Now I’m excited, I can’t wait to get in.”