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Formula 1

Ferrari launches 2021 F1 car with revised livery

by Scott Mitchell-Malm
4 min read

Ferrari has revealed its SF21 Formula 1 car with a two-tone livery and green Mission Winnow logo on its engine cover.

The SF21 is decked in Ferrari’s traditional red but fades to burgundy at the rear, utilising the colour Ferrari painted its entire car in for last year’s Tuscan Grand Prix to commemorate its 1000th grand prix.

Mission Winnow’s presence remains, although the initiative of main sponsor Philip Morris International is now represented by a bright green logo on the engine cover. The smaller Mission Winnow logos are still black, like last year.

Ferrari 2021 F1 launch

“The aerodynamics were revised and it has a completely new power unit, its livery has also changed,” team principal Mattia Binotto said in unveiling the new car.

“As you can see the rear is a burgundy colour, similar to the very first Ferrari racing car, the 125S. It’s the same colour we used last year in Mugello to celebrate our 1000th grand prix.

“This year is going to be full of challenges. Visually, we’ve drawn on our history, but we’re also looking towards the future.”

F1’s most successful team in history had a miserable 2020 with an underpowered and overly draggy car, and finished a lowly sixth in the constructors’ championship.

Ferrari believes an overhauled engine and reworked aerodynamics will make the SF21 a significant step forward from the SF1000 it is based on.

The delay in introducing of new technical rules to 2022 means Ferrari cannot recover its deficit completely, especially as a large part of it was down to adjusting to the FIA’s technical directives stopping the potential manipulation of fuel-flow and oil burning rules for power gains.

However, even with so much car carry-over, teams are permitted free aerodynamic changes and were also given two development tokens to spend on one or two mechanical updates – which Ferrari has used at the rear of its car and incorporated revised rear suspension into its upgrades.

Ferrari 2021 F1 launch

The upshot is a car Ferrari expects to have recovered “quite a lot of speed” on the straights, according to Binotto.

But how that development compares to chief rivals Mercedes and Red Bull-Honda will be a key factor in whether Ferrari is able to restore F1’s ‘big three’ – as will how good the car is through the corners.

“Last year was a big, big disappointment,” said Binotto at the team’s ‘first’ launch last week.

“We know that we cannot repeat such a bad result, we know that we need to do better in 2021.

“As team principal no doubt I’m fully aware of the responsibility I’ve got, being part of such a team.

“I feel not the pressure, I feel the responsibility but as well the pride.”

Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and new signing Carlos Sainz Jr will hope to at least comfortably establish themselves as healthy points scorers after the team’s up-and-down 2020.

Ferrari 2021 F1 launch

Leclerc enters his third season at Ferrari as the de facto team leader, “completely” recovered from a positive COVID-19 diagnosis in the off-season and with the most involved preparation of his career so far.

“I think I’ve never been at Ferrari as much as this season before the actual start of the season,” he said.

“We’ve also been doing quite a bit of tests with the old car, so I feel very ready.

“I’ve been working in a similar way as I’ve done in the past, trying to understand what were my weaknesses last year.

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“I still believe that tyre management is something I should push. I’ve improved massively last year, and I hope there will be another step this year.”

Sainz, who has joined from McLaren to replace four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, has augmented his preparations with mileage in Ferrari’s 2018 car.

He said that Ferrari’s ambition to elevate itself beyond the leading midfield cars is the “million-dollar question no one can answer right now”.

“We will not know until we go to Bahrain, but not the Bahrain test, the Bahrain race,” he said.

“Testing nowadays with the amount of fuel loads that you can put, engine modes, it would be very difficult to take any kind of conclusion.

“I’ve been following very closely the progress of the team during the last months and I’ve been trying to give my support and help.

“There’s some encouraging signs, some encouraging data coming out but at the same time we don’t know what the others are doing.”

Ferrari also heads into 2021 with a new technical structure behind the scenes, something Binotto believes gives the team a “simpler and clearer” organisation.

That impact is less likely to be felt this season and more important for the work on next year’s rules overhaul.

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