Feast your eyes: Ferrari unveils gleaming new SF1000 car for coming Formula One season
REGGIO EMILIA, Italy, Feb 12 (AFP): Ferrari unveiled its new SF1000 car for the 2020 Formula One season, which they hope will deliver a first world drivers title since 2007, during a glitzy ceremony on Tuesday.
The single seater's name acknowledges the fact that the Italian team will start its 1,000th world championship race during the coming campaign, which begins with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 15.
"This is a very special year. It's 70 years of Formula One, we have been there from the start and we are going to reach the figure of 1,000 Grands Prix, which is something incredible," said Ferrari Team Manager Mattia Binotto.
For the occasion, the Scuderia broke with tradition and presented its new racing car outside of its stronghold of Maranello, unveiling it instead on stage at the Teatro Romolo-Valli in the nearby city of Reggio Emilia.
"This is a very important place for our country," chairman of the Ferrari group John Elkann explained.
"It was in this city that the tricolour flag, which became that of Italy, was created. And Ferrari is proud of Italy and of representing Italy."
Narrower than last season's SF90, with a deeper red colouring the body, Ferrari is pinning its hopes on the SF1000 Ferrari earning them drivers and constructors titles that have eluded them for 12 and 11 years respectively.
"Maybe it looks a lot like the SF90, but I can assure you it is very different," continued Binotto.
"We still have to make progress, especially on reliability," he added, recalling that Ferrari, like the other teams, had to face "the double challenge" of preparing the next season in parallel with the following one, when new rules will come into force.
Team drivers Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc said they were impatient to try out the new car, which will be on track next week for the pre-season testing in Barcelona.
"I like it very much," said Vettel.
"It's much narrower at the back than last year and it is also redder, it is even better. I'm impatient to drive it, it's even more fascinating than looking at it."
Leclerc, who made an impressive debut last season with two wins and fourth place in the world championship, also expressed enthusiasm for the new car.
"It's always emotional when you see a new car, I felt emotional when I saw it. Now I can't wait to be out on track and try it and to show all the work that has been done on this car," he said.
"It's going to be a great challenge. I'm ready to learn from my mistakes to become an even better driver."