Ferrari chief technical officer Mattia Binotto says there are areas of the SF71H that are “more aggressive, more innovative” than last year’s car.
Thursday saw the top two in last year’s constructors’ championship – Mercedes and Ferrari – both launch new cars ahead of this season, with both teams taking an evolutionary approach after winning multiple races in 2017. Following the unveiling of Ferrari’s latest design, Binotto says the wheelbase and sidepods are two of the areas that have seen the biggest developments.
“The new car – the SF71H – represents an evolution of last year’s car, which was already a good project. We try to retain the strengths, and some of the strengths I would say are the aggressiveness of the concept we designed, a car that was performing very well on low-speed circuits.
“But as well we knew we had to work on new aero developments. For example I would mention we tried to develop the car to be strong and performant on high-speed circuits, but also improve reliability.
“What has changed? The main differences I would indicate are we have a longer wheelbase – slightly longer wheelbase – compared to last year. We have the sidepods and the radiator ducts which are even more aggressive, more innovative compared to last year.
“I think overall the entire team did a fantastic job in terms of packaging to be very tight. If you look at the body, it’s a very narrow body and I think those are the main concepts of this new car.”
And Binotto says Ferrari also found the introduction of the Halo to be a major area of focus when trying to minimize its impact on the car’s aerodynamics.
“The most visible is the Halo. The Halo has been introduced for the safety of the drivers but as it is very visible it is also very intrusive on the design. It is not a straightforward exercise. It does affect it, obviously the weight of the car, the center of gravity, the air into the engine scoop, but also all the flow to the rear wing. So we put in quite a lot of effort to make sure everything was working properly.”