Today saw the unveiling of Ferrari’s 2021 Formula 1 Challenger, the SF21, which will be driven by Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, the youngest driver line-up for Ferrari since 1968.
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The Ferrari SF21
Earlier on today, Ferrari unveiled its challenger for the upcoming Formula 1 season, the SF21. Visible changes over last year’s Ferrari SF1000 includes a revised livery, with use of a darker red towards the rear of the car, reminiscent to the special burgundy red used by the team at the Scuderia’s 1000th Grand Prix last September at Mugello. The new livery also welcomes back Mission Winnow, which is now sporting a green logo on the car’s engine cover.
The SF21 will be driven by Charles Leclerc as he continues on with the team for 2021, with Carlos Sainz partnering him in the second car. Sainz, after two very impressive seasons with McLaren is facing his first season with the Scuderia, and is confident that himself and Leclerc can work well together and push the team back up the grid after a disappointing 2020.
Team principal Mattia Binotto is confident that the major changes to the aerodynamics and the car’s power unit can help bring the team back up the standings, noting that the slight change in livery over recent years is a sign of hope that the team can start to climb back up the order.
The SF21 will make its official track debut tomorrow at the Sakhir International Circuit in Bahrain for a filming day, prior to the first of three days’ pre-season testing will begin on Friday.
With the initially proposed 2021 regulation changes being postponed until 2022, all teams are required to use the previous years’ chassis for 2021, which can be updated with the use of development tokens. During the design and creation of the SF21, Ferrari opted to use two of these tokens to extensively revise the rear of the car.
Ferrari’s Head of Chassis, Enrico Cardille spoke about the changes incorporated into the SF21 for 2021, nothing that the two main goals of the team were to reduce drag and recover mode downforce with the new car, two areas which were weaknesses of the previous years’ SF1000. Cardille also confirmed after the unveiling of the SF21 that the car now has a new transmission and suspension system, with the power unit and aerodynamics departments working together to produce a much tighter rear-end on the car, as well as a revised cooling system.
Despite the 2021 regulations allowing for less of a revamp on the front end, the SF21 sports an all-new front wing and nose assembly.
“When we began the SF21 project, our first task was to identify which area of the car we should focus on in order to achieve a radical change. We opted for the rear end, designing a new gearbox and new suspension system. This, in addition to the efforts of our power unit colleagues has led to a much tighter rear end.” Cardille said.
Along with the aerodynamical gains the team hopes to make with the SF21, the car also introduces a new power unit for 2021, named the 065/6 by the team. Throughout 2020, it became clear that Ferrari no longer held the top speed advantage it had in recent years, and as Head of Power Unit Enrico Gaultieri explained today, one of the focuses of the Power Unit department for the new 2021 power unit.
Thanks to the help of the chassis and aerodynamic department as well as with Shell, the team are seeing and improvement of a tenth of a second from the V6 internal combustion engine alone. This increase was mainly in part to the work being done on the new power unit’s thermal efficiency over the previous year’s power unit, as well as a new layout for the current power unit.
Despite the V6 Turbo Hybrid regulations heading towards a development freeze before a new power unit is introduced in 2021, Gaultieri confirmed that the team will continue to work on improving the electronics and hybrid system on the new hybrid.
"As engine engineers, last season on track produced a clear picture of where we were and that was our starting point. It was that awareness, combined with our determination, our skills and those of our partners that led to the creation of the 065/6 power unit for the 2021 season.” Gaultieri explained during today’s reveal.
Written by Cóilín Higgins.