Published: Thu, February 22, 2018
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Ferrari hopes to end Mercedes dominance with new SF71H F1 entry

Ferrari hopes to end Mercedes dominance with new SF71H F1 entry

Ferrari paid special attention to aerodynamics for its new Formula One auto in an attempt to keep up with rival Mercedes on high-speed circuits.

The car's livery has less white sections than its predecessors, with Ferrari seemingly veering back towards its traditional red livery, while the SF71H is the first auto not to feature Santander as a sponsor, following the Spanish financial giant's decision during previous year to pull the plug on their Formula 1 involvement.

"It looks nice and usually when it looks nice there's speed also", Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen said.

Toro Rosso, Mercedes and McLaren have all been victim to leaked images of their new cars so far, but Ferrari managed to keep their challenger under wraps until the official launch time of 1400 GMT on Thursday.

"Some minor things change every year, but the chassis is mostly a development - and now is obviously the time where you see the auto, it's all ready, so you want to get in, go out on the track and have a go", said 2017 championship runner-up Sebastian Vettel.

"We will see that next week and the first race the halo looks different but to be honest we tried it past year and it wasn't a big difference".

Mercedes have claimed the drivers' and constructors' title in each of the past four seasons - finishing 146 points ahead of second-placed Ferrari in 2017 - but Vettel is optimistic ahead of the coming campaign.

The new vehicle also features a protective halo device around the cockpit that is mandatory for all cars this season.

"You get used to it and you don't really notice it. The most visible change is aerodynamic and how tight the packaging is of the vehicle and how closed up the bodywork is".

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