MARANELLO, Italy -- Ferrari has unveiled its 2018 Formula One car -- the SF71-H -- at an event at its headquarters in Maranello.
After challenging Mercedes for the title and falling short in 2017, high expectations surround the new car as the team aims to end its ten-year championship drought by the end of the season. It also carries the championship hopes of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, with Vettel aiming to beat Lewis Hamilton to a fifth career title this year.
Technical director Mattia Binotto confirmed the new car features a longer wheelbase than its predecessor as the team looks to extract more high-speed aero performance following a deficit to Mercedes' long-wheelbase W08 last year. The SF70-H's distinctive sidepod concept has been evolved into a more aggressive design this year and the rear of the car nipped in around the power unit to aid airflow to the rear. A centre-line cooling arrangement also appears to have been adopted, with a large airbox above the driver's head.
For the first time since 2009, the Ferrari features an extensively red livery following the loss of major sponsor Santander. The Halo, which is mandatory this year, has a red fairing and a Ferrari badge placed on the front.
The presentation at a snow-covered Maranello came on the same day as Mercedes' launch at Silverstone, as the rival teams compete for media attention even before a wheel is turned in official testing.
The new Ferrari is now due to be packed up and sent to the Circuit de Catalunya where it will complete a filming day on Sunday ahead of the first day of testing on February 26. Regardless of the weather, the team had decided against running the car on its private Fiorano test track on Thursday.