The Scuderia Ferrari Formula One team today unveiled a new F1 race car, the SF71H, which will compete in the 2018 Formula One World Championship. Fitted with a “halo” cockpit protection device as required by the FIA for 2018, the new open-wheel racer is more evolutionary than revolutionary, but Scuderia Ferrari CTO Mattia Binotto says they’ve adopted a longer wheelbase than on the SF70H, following in Mercedes-AMG’s footsteps.
Unlike Ferrari’s F1 cars of the recent past, Motorsport points out, the new SF71H hardly has any white in its livery. This could be an attempt to visually differentiate the car from the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team’s new C37, which wears a red-and-white livery. Another notable change is the absence of Santander branding, which has been displayed prominently on the wing of every Scuderia Ferrari F1 car since 2010’s Ferrari F10. That omission comes as a result of Santander’s decision not to spend any more on F1 sponsorship.
Last year’s Ferrari SF70H was a strong performer, propelling F1 driver Sebastian Vettel to the lead in the drivers’ championship standings early on in the season before accidents and reliability issues pushed him back to second. Ferrari came second in the constructors’ championship behind Mercedes-AMG, whose driver Lewis Hamilton ended up winning his fourth drivers’ championship title.
Both Vettel and his teammate from the 2017 season, Kimi Raikkonen, will return to drive for Scuderia Ferrari in 2018. They’ll be joined by a new development driver, Daniil Kvyat, and Ferrari-backed Alfa Romeo Sauber reserve Antonio Giovinazzi.