Ferrari pulled the covers off from its 2019 contender. The prancing horse did so in its annual event at its homebase in Maranello in an event where symbolism was key.
It did so under the hashtag motto #essereFerrari, which can be liberately translated to “to be Ferrari”, though the correct context only exists in Italian, talking about pashion, competition, excellence,... . CEO Louis Camilleri kicked things off with paying tribute to current, new and recently gone members of the Scuderia. Afterwards Ferrari played short clips of their historical racing high-points in 90 years of Ferrari existance. Switching to the present, Mattia Binotto talked about the 2018 season and taking the positives out of it.
Before the car got revealed, Ferrari played another clip paying tribute to its fans. Afterwards, a small tribute was also made to the attending drivers of the Young Drivers Academy.
After the next video, with impressive shots from different small parts making up the Scuderia Ferrari SF90 Mission Winnow. Afterwards, the car got revealed through literally rising it out of the ground onto the podium. The car sports a lot of Mission Winnow logo's with apparently a slightly lighter, matte red.
When team principal Mattio Binotto returned to the stage, he explained a few key features, stating the SF90 is an evolution and not a revolution compared to its predecessor. Changes obviously are the front wing regulations. Ferrari pushed the rules hard in that regard. He also underlined Ferrari's focus or repackaging the internals, allowing for a compact package to optimise aerodynamic performance.
The SF90 (design code 670) is the sixty fifth single-seater built by Ferrari to compete in the Formula 1 World Championship. The car has been produced based on the new regulations, which have required various changes compared to the 2018 car. Among the most obvious changes are those to the front and rear wings. The front wing is wider and boasts simpler aerodynamic profiles, while the rear is wider and higher.
The bargeboards have been reduced in height, while the front brake duct design has been simplified. The overall weight of the car increases to 743 kilos, including the driver and his kit, which must weigh a minimum of 80 kilos. The fuel allowance for the race increases from 105 to 110 kg. The SF90 is the sixth car built for Formula 1’s current hybrid era, which began in 2014.
Charles Leclerc was seeing a boy's dream becoming reality: “It's a very emotional day for me, joining the team. I have been part of Ferrari Young Driver's Program for a long time, and I finally see the dream come true. It's an opportunity for me, to sit right next Sebastian. I can learn from him. The key will be to work together.”
Sebastian Vettel could not hide his enthousiasm: “We all are excited, when you start to see little bits of the car last year, and now we see it fully assembled for the first time. I can't wait to get in, Charles feeling the same. My relation with Binotto is excellent, him being longer around here than most in the room. We already worked together the last few years. For Charles it's a big step joining Ferrari. The team is on the right path and we hope to improve.”
Mattia Binotto looked back to the previous season and how it reflects on the team in the present: “I'm very excited, even proud of our team. The dream at Ferrari never ends. Settling in this role, it's a matter of looking ahead. We have a duty to make sure that our long standing tradition of competition and class keeps existing. There is still plenty of time to prepare for Melbourne, we are not ready now but we will be. A lot of positives from 2018, for example in Melbourne last year with a great strategy. Or Austria, where Sebastian overtook with 2 tyres on the grass. Monza we unfortunaly did not win, but we did got a 1-2 in qualifying and the fastest lap. Summing up 2019 in 3 words, I'd say 'efficiency, power and team'.”
CEO Louis Camilleri looked back in time nostalgically: “I want to thank our audience for their attendance of the car launch, and special thanks to our sponsors. The car we unveil represents state of the art technology, which is the fruit of the talent and labour of everybody who works at Ferrari.
"This year is important as we celebrate our 90th anniversary. We continue to be guided and inspired by our founder Enzo Ferrari. We carry the hopes, expectations and pride of an entire nation, a responsibility we gladly accept. Last season was our best one in the last few seasons, but we fell short of expectations. We look back and want to pay tribute to Kimi Raikkonen and Maurizio Arrivabene, who we will always consider part of the Ferrari Family.
"We now continue with Mattia Binotto, who has been with us for a quarter of a century. He knows the scuderia ferrari in and out, and he is determined to make a huge difference at all levels. I'm confident he'll lead us to greater heights. I also want to pay tribute to our world class drivers. Sebastian Vettel, who despite his 4 titles remains as hungry as ever. Next to him will be Charles Leclerc, of whoem we are sure great things await him in the near future.
"Behind them is a very well oiled machine, our men and women who share a pashion. The atmosphere in the team, from top and bottom, is one which will be in serenity. In which transparency will flourish. Their loyalty inspires us to do ever better.”
John Elkann had the final word before the launch event and its online stream were formally closed.
"The car is not only very beautiful, but also very competitive", said Elkann.
"EssereFerrari is something special, something very unique. It started 90 years ago, with our founder who had a pashion for speed and winning. Fundamentally, our motto means to be a team. Mattia knows this very well, being around here for so long. It's about doing it together. We are about to start a new season, a new decade. We need to win together before our 100th anniversary. We are a team. All of us should have the opportunity to have this symbol, which represents what it is to be Ferrari.”