Scuderia Ferrari came really close to winning the F1 championship in 2018, and while it may not have clinched the title last season, the team is surely going all guns blazing in 2019. The Italian outfit has now revealed the 2019 Formula 1 challenger - the SF90. The Ferrari SF90 was unveiled at a special event at the company's Fiorano test track, just outside of Maranello. With the team focusing on bringing home the championship this year, Ferrari has a new team principal in the form of Mattia Binotto, who has been with the team since 1995 and moves up from his previous role as Chief Technical Officer replacing Maurizio Arrivabene.
Speaking at the SF90's launch, Scuderia Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto said, "Starting in 2018, we got really good achievements. This car is a development of last year's car, it's not a revolution. We've tried to push the bar, try to be some extreme as we could. Some changes like the front wing for the regulations. If you look at the details, we've tried to push hard, be innovative. If you look at the bodywork at the back, it's very slim. It's thanks to the entire job we've done. A lot of effort has been done. We like it."
The 2019 Ferrari SF90 is built on last year's concept - the SF71H - but with every panel reworked and redesigned to meet the new regulations. The last year's car was a force to reckon with and allowed Ferrari to lead the championship briefly even as Mercedes took home the title eventually. Along with the new design, Ferrari has also chosen to opt for matte red paintwork as opposed to its traditional glossy finish, in what is said to be pure performance reasons. The team revealed that the darker red matte colour has helped save in weight savings, even if it's a few grams.
The SF90 also runs an extremely narrow airbox, while the tight packaging around the rear of the car has helped the team's plan to run a unique double-stacked exhaust system, further adding to the overall performance.
There are a few changes that are straightforward, like the front wing that is for the technical regulations that have changed since last time.
"But if you look at it in all the details, certainly we try to push very hard, being innovative. The roll hoop is very narrow and very slim. The bodywork at the back is also very slim, while the front gets a completely new wing to meet with the new aerodynamic regulations.
Joining Sebastian Vettel in the pits this season will be Charles Leclerc who steps in place of Kimi Raikkonen, with the latter moving to Alfa Romeo (formerly Sauber). Leclerc is set to become the youngest driver at Ferrari since Ricardo Rodriguez, thanks to a stellar season at Sauber last year, which earned him the coveted seat. Meanwhile, for Vettel, the young German is looking to take his fifth world championship in 2019 equalling that of Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton. Vettel's last world title came in 2013 while he was racing with Red Bull.
Speaking about the upcoming season, Sebastian Vettel said, "We're all excited. You start to see the car, little bits of it at the end of last year and then you see it come together but today is the first time you see it. I'm very excited - it's incredible to see when everything gets together. Now I'm excited, I can't wait to get in."
Ferrari will now be heading to Spain for the winter testing in Barcelona that starts on February 18 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.