Ferrari has kicked off the Formula 1 launch season with the grand reveal of their SF1000 this evening in the spectacular Romolo Valli Theatre, Reggio Emilia.
The Reds go into 2020 with one of the strongest driver lineups around having retained the services of both Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel.
The launch was very much suited to the venue. An orchestral opening in the 19th-century theatre building up to the reveal of the SF1000 by Charles and Sebastian. The name itself paying homage to the teams 1000th Grand Prix that they will have competed in F1.
Chief executive Louis Camilleri said, “We are all very conscious of the huge responsibilities that lie on our shoulders and we clearly are very focused on the ultimate goal, which is victory. I believe we have the talent and determination to meet those ambitions.
“With responsibility comes a lot of pressure and we view that pressure in a positive manner because it has the effect of uniting us and also inspiring us,” added Camilleri.
Enzo Ferrari founded ‘Scuderia Ferrari’ in 1929 where he bought, prepared and fielded cars for customers until 1933 when Scuderia Ferrari took over the role of Alfa Romeo’s works team. In 1939, Ferrari left Alfa Romeo to pursue his own brand, initially under the Auto Avio Costrruzioni name.
The first ‘Ferrari’ branded car came in 1947 in the form of the 125 S – Fine Italian design married to a 1.5l V12 engine. A car produced to fund the Scuderia Ferrari, the racing division.
Ferrari entered F1 in its first season in 1950, and are the only team to have entered every season of the championship, with the 125 F1 but would miss the first event in Britain over disagreements regarding ‘starter money’ paid to competitors.
Seventy years later, the Scuderia holds 13 sporting records which include most constructors and drivers championships (16 and 15), most Grands Prix, most wins, poles and podium finishes. The Ferrari name has become synonymous with F1 and F1 synonymous with Ferrari and their exploits both on the track and the roads.
The 2010s marked the Maranello based sides first decade without a constructors championship since the 1950s. Given their dominance in the early 2000s with Michael Schumacher and the F200x series, it is undoubted that a team filled with such success will be looking to fuel that thirst.
Ferrari struggled in the early stages of 2019 after seemingly being the team to beat at the conclusion of pre-season testing in Barcelona.
Teething problems meant their first silver medal came at Monaco with the car finally bringing the challenge to Mercedes in Europe and after the summer break where Charles Leclerc took three pole positions in a row in Belgium, Italy and Singapore – All were converted into a win by the team with Vettel leading home the 1-2 in Singapore.
Ultimately, the late-maturing of the car and it’s drivers was not enough to keep within touching distance of the Mercedes pair who proved dominant in the early stages of the season winning rounds 1-8 and taking nine 1-2s throughout the year.
Mercedes’ consistency saw the Germans hold onto the title by over 200 points while errors and inconsistencies on the Italian side in Bahrain, Azerbaijan, Monaco, Britain, Germany, Italy and predominantly Brazil only made the poor start worse.
2020 is the second year of the Leclerc-Vettel pairing which has proven strong so far with youth more often than not bringing the fight to experience. Sebastian Vettel will be determined to prove he is still a leading driver and at his prime while Leclerc will look to further the impressive start to his career in F1. After years of constant promise and disappointment for the Tifosi, the goal is simple: Win the title and do so emphatically.