Ferrari has become the first team to confirm the launch date for its 2018 Formula 1 car, with next year’s challenger being unveiled on February 22.
As in recent years, Ferrari will launch the car online from Maranello before carrying out a filming day which acts as a shakedown ahead of the first pre-season test. Next year’s testing program gets underway on February 26 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with two four-day tests taking place, the second of which runs from March 6-9.
Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne confirmed the date during the traditional Christmas lunch at Maranello, with no other team having so far announced when its car will be unveiled.
After a difficult time since the introduction of the V6 power unit regulations in 2014, 2017 represented a clear step forward for Ferrari as Sebastian Vettel finished second in the drivers’ championship with five victories, leading the standings until the end of the European season in early September. Next year Vettel will once again be partnered by Kimi Raikkonen for the fourth consecutive season.
The 2018 car will feature the Halo for the first time, with teams facing a new challenge to homologate next year’s chassis as a result of the loads the cockpit protection device must withstand.
This year, Williams was the first team to release images of its new car as it published renderings of the FW40 some ten days before the start of pre-season testing, though the final car itself was not displayed until two days before the first test.