Scuderia Ferrari has become the second team to take the wraps off the car it will campaign in the 2016 Formula 1 World Championship season, the SF16-H.
The car will be piloted by four-time champion Sebastian Vettel and 2007 title winner Kimi Räikkönen, who will be teammates for a second year.
The new car, principally designed by Simone Resta, sports a number of significant changes compared with its predecessor. The SF16-H has reverted to push-rod front suspension, while the car’s nose is considerably shorter than its 2015 forebear. The car has also been significantly repackages to house a heavily upgraded power unit that features a number of new components as it looks to take the fight to reigning champions Mercedes.
“The project of this car started one year ago, and the direction was very ambitious – our goals were very ambitious,” Resta said of his new creation.
“After five years of pull-rod (suspension) we have changed and we now have push-rod. The weight and kinematics are better – and it is a step forward compared to previous models.”
Ferrari’s management has made its objections clear: the car must be a contender for the 2016 World Championship titles.
“We hope that this will be a winning car and it will be a myth for us – this car is the result of the commitment of many, many people, logistics, and this car will head off to Barcelona in a few hours and there we will test its real value,” Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene added.
“Normally I am not setting the objectives, my boss [Ferrari President Sergio Marchionne] sets the objective for the team. We would like to fight until the end for the championship,” he added.
Ferrari finished runner-up to the dominant Mercedes team in 2015, making significant performance gains compared to a poor 2014 campaign. Vettel won three races and showed himself to be Mercedes’ most consistent threat, while Räikkönen had a very lacklustre campaign yet was surprisingly retained for the 2015 season.
The other noticeable change to the car is with its livery. The engine cover is now predominantly white, while a number of sections sport black trim. This gives the SF16-H something of a throwback resemblance to the Ferrari 312T that took Niki Lauda to his first World Championship crown.
On the sponsorship side, the team has largely kept its roster of partners from 2015; the only addition seems to be the Singha beer brand from Thailand which occasionally sponsored Red Bull Racing in previous seasons.
The SF16-H is expected to have a shakedown run at the team’s designated ‘filming day’ before the opening pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya that takes place on February 22-25.
Images via Diecast Xchange and Scuderia Ferrari