Ferrari go 'extreme' with the SF1000 in pursuit of downforce

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Ferrari has gone "extreme" in their design of the SF1000 with a single focus on maximum downforce, team boss Mattia Binotto says.

On Tuesday, the Scuderia took the covers off their new car in a lavish ceremony at the Romolo Valli Municipal Theatre in Reggio Emilia, this ahead of the first pre-season test in Barcelona starting on February 19.

And in a year where the pressure is on Ferrari to once again become regular challengers to Mercedes following a tough 2019, Maranello has gone all-out attack.

“Certainly the regulations remain stable so it is difficult to transform completely the car,” Binotto explained at the launch event.

“The starting point is last year’s car, the SF90, but certainly we’re extreme on all the concepts as much as we could.

“We try to go for maximum aero performance and try to maximise downforce level, so the entire car, the monocoque, the power unit layout, the gearbox has been really packaged to have a narrower slim body shape. I think that is quite visible.

“We work on all the components. The suspension has been designed to have greater flexibility when being on the race track, so we can adapt the set up to whatever suits the drivers and the circuit.

“We put a lot of effort to keep the weight down. We worked a lot on the power unit, not only for packaging, but we work on every single component to cope as well with the changing technical regulations.

“It may look very similar to last year but believe me it is completely different from last year. A lot of concepts are very extreme on the car.”

The promise of more downforce will certainly please Sebastian Vettel, who struggled to adapt to the handling of last year's Ferrari.

So it's no surprise to hear the four-time world champion is eager to get behind the wheel.

“Everything sits a lot tighter,” he said. “We have found clever solutions.

“I can’t wait to drive it, as that’s more exciting than looking at it. One more week to wait, it’s fantastic.”

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This year sees Ferrari also commemorate a major milestone, with the SF1000 reflecting the 1000th F1 Grand Prix the team will compete in during the 2020 season.

And the big bosses are confident the team will meet with expectations.

“With responsibility comes pressure and we view that pressure in a positive manner because it unites us and inspires us to do better,” CEO Louis Camilleri said.

“We are more demanding on ourselves than anyone could ever be.”

Ferrari president John Elkann concluded: “Even though Ferrari has won 238 of the 991 Formula 1 races run to date, our thirst for victory is stronger than ever.

“In the coming season, we will continue to face very tough opposition, but that only serves to spur us on to do more and to do even better.

“What distinguishes us is the amazing collective effort of everyone in Ferrari’s Gestione Sportiva, both on and off the track. That is our strength.”