Ferrari Formula 1 chief Mattia Binotto says the new SF90 car is not a “revolution” compared to its 2018 predecessor, but that the team tried to be “as extreme as we could” in its push to end its decade-long title drought.

Ferrari lifted the covers off the new SF90 F1 car on Friday at Maranello in a launch event marked by a number of nods to a new chapter beginning for the team, which last won a title in 2008.

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After finishing as runner-up in both F1 championships last year with the SF71 car, Binotto explained at the launch how the team was not looking for “revolution” with the SF90, but had pushed to raise the bar as much as possible.

“I think starting with 2018, we got really good achievements, and I think this car is a development of that year’s car. It’s not a revolution,” Binotto said.

“I think we simply tried to push again and raise the bar, to raise the level, try to be as extreme as we could.

“There are a few things that are straightforward: the front wing, that’s for the technical regulations last time.

“But I think if you look at it in all the details, certainly, the roll hoop is very narrow and very slim. If you look as well at the bodywork on the back, it’s very, very slim.

“That is as well thanks to the entire job which you cannot see because it’s below, but in terms of engine installation, power unit installation, packaging, a lot of effort has been done.

“I think the final car is the result of all this effort. We like it!”

A number of major changes have taken place at Ferrari over the winter: most notably the departures of former team principal Maurizio Arrivabene and race driver Kimi Raikkonen, who were replaced by Binotto and Charles Leclerc respectively.

Leclerc will partner four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel at the team this year, who is bidding to end his own title drought dating back to 2013 this year.

Speaking of the winter changes, Vettel said: “Mattia has been part of this team longer than most in the room. He’s been around a long, long time, obviously we worked together the last five years as well. It will be a new way to work together but I’m looking forward to it.

“And for Charles, again, he’s been racing his whole life. Certainly it’s a big step to join Ferrari, but I think he’s also very, very excited. I’m looking forward to this year. I think the team is on the right path and hopefully we can continue improving.”

Leclerc steps up to Ferrari for his second season in F1 after an impressive debut campaign with Sauber last year.

“I’m extremely excited to start this new adventure. It’s been a dream since childhood, I’ve always been looking at the red car,” Leclerc said.

“I’ve also been part of the Ferrari Driver Academy for some years now. That has helped me massively to develop as a driver, with the goal one day to have this seat. Now it’s happening. An extremely proud day for me today."

 

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