F1: Ferrari unveil new car to rival Mercedes
24 Feb 2017 - 23:54
Rome: Ferrari unveiled a faster and visibly changed new single seater car yesterday in which Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen will bid to rival Mercedes next season.
The Italian constructor struggled last season finishing behind Mercedes and Red Bull in the constructors' championship.
Ferrari have not won a drivers' championship in a decade with Finn Raikkonen the last driver to triumph for the Italian stable in 2007.
Named the "SF70" in reference to Ferrari's 70 years in competition the car is as usual largely red with black trim with a sweep of new features following regulation changes aimed at speeding up Formula 1.
The SF70, the 63rd model of the Ferrari racing car, has more aerodynamic downforce and more mechanical grip on top of much wider Pirelli tyres, giving increased grip and faster cornering.
The lengthened nose and the arrow-shaped wing are also a consequence of the new regulations, as is the obvious white-coloured shark fin on the engine cover.
The hubs and wheel-caps have been altered to allow for faster wheel changes at pit stops and the enhanced braking and steering are more powerful. The nose of the Ferrari is markedly wider than the rival Mercedes W08 unveiled at Silverstone by Lewis Hamilton on Thursday on the back of three consecutive world championship titles for the German team.
Germany's Vettel and Raikkonen came fourth and sixth respectively in the 2016 world championships while Ferrari itself were third in the constructors standings.
The Italian outfit is challenging for a first world title since Raikkonen won in 2007, and a first constructors title since 2008. Raikkonen is due to put the SF70 through its paces at Barcelona on Monday as the world championships series gets underway in Australia on March 26.