Ferrari unveil 'sexy' new car for 2015

A major overhaul of the car's engine has been undertaken in a bid to reel in last season's runaway champions Mercedes


Afp January 30, 2015
his handout picture released on January 30, 2015 by the Ferrari press office shows from (L) production director Corrado Lanzone, pilot Esteban Gutierrez, designer, engineer, and current technical director James Allison, pilot Kimi Raikkonen, team principal Maurizio Arrivabene, pilot Sebastian Vettel, deputy chief designer Simone Resta and business profile as chief operating officer Mattia Binotto posing with the new Formula 1 of the team Ferrari, the FS15-T during its launching in Maranello. PHOTO: AFP

MILAN: Ferrari unveiled the 'sexy' SF15-T on Friday, the car the legendary Italian stable are counting on to bring back the feel good factor at Maranello after a miserable 2014.

When Fernando Alonso trailed in a lowly ninth in Abu Dhabi in November it wrapped up a wretched season for the iconic Italian stable, their first winless campaign since 1993.

Ferrari's lacklustre performance in taking only fourth in the constructors title race triggered sweeping changes at their Italian HQ in a bid to put the team back at the top of Formula One.

In November, team chief Marco Mattiacci was sacked after just seven months in the post with Maurizio Arrivabene parachuted in to take his place.

That headline switch came days after Red Bull's four-time world champion Sebastien Vettel was signed on a three-year-contract to replace Alonso after the Spaniard's move to McLaren.

Vettel links up with Kimi Raikkonen, the Finn who clinched Ferrari's last world championship in 2007.

Vettel and Raikkonen go into battle against Mercedes' world champion Lewis Hamilton in the aggressive-appearing SF15-T, with Arrivabene for one an ardent admirer.

"[Ferrari founder] Enzo Ferrari said a long time ago the best car is a winning car - last year we had an ugly car and it was a non-winning car.

"I like the car of this year in terms of aesthetics, I don't know about its performance, but its's really sexy," Arrivabene told the F1 team's official website.

A major overhaul of the car's engine has been undertaken in a bid to reel in last season's runaway champions Mercedes.

The SF15-T, the concept of British designer James Allison, will have its first official runout in the first batch of pre-season testing at the Spanish circuit of Jerez starting on Sunday.

Arrivabane was careful not to make any predictions that could come back to haunt him at the end of the season.

"I don't want to say we are going to win the world championship but for sure we are at least committed to winning a couple of races.

"The work to do is to enhance team spirit, and the passion that was a little bit lost in the past few years and look to work together with one objective, to win as much as possible."

Like Arrivabene, Vettel too sought to temper tifosi expectations.

"There's been a lot of change here," said Ferrari's German recruit.

"A lot of new people in new positions, including myself, it always takes a bit of time to settle in, until you really start to make proper progress but I'm confident we are going in the right direction.

"But it would be wrong to expect immediately a lot of us.

"You also need to remember we are coming from a 2014 season when one team were very dominant so it will be difficult to be right there from the beginning, for us so the main target is to really work together and hopefully catch up more and more as the season progresses."

Two other less high-profile new faces in the Ferrari pits in 2015 are Mexican Esteban Gutierrez, lured from Sauber, and former Torro Rosso driver Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne, who have joined Ferrari as test drivers.

Vettel meanwhile is counting off the hours until March 15 and the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

"When the flag drops in Melbourne it will be a very special thing, my first race with Ferrari, everything is red, a very special colour because it means so much, with so much history."

As for working alongside the famously laconic Raikkonen, Vettel said: "I don't expect any problems, he's a difficult teammate to beat on the track but off the track we get on well - normally not many words are being exchanged!"

 

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