Formula 1

F1 2021: Scuderia Ferrari SF21

Ferrari was the last to reveal its 2021 contender and this is it. It’s still red but it has a touch of burgundy at the rear, the same shade that we saw on the 1000th GP tribute livery. Does the new livery look good? Yeah. Is it better than last year’s? Not really.

The sore point for the SF21 is the green for the Mission Winnow branding on the engine cover. It seems completely out of place even though the shade itself is quite pretty. The font for the numbers has a retro feel to it but it contrasts all the modern lettering from all the sponsors.

The driver uniform looks the same as before and both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz look good in it. Hopefully, we get to see them flaunt that jersey on the podium more than a couple of times in 2021. Leclerc has already established himself as a potential contender for the world title while Sainz has built a reputation to deliver consistent results despite difficult circumstances. Some Tifosi might see the Spaniard as a support act to their beloved Charles but they’re wrong. Sainz won’t wait long to show the world exactly why he was signed by the most prestigious F1 team of all time.

For Ferrari to be back at the front of the grid, they need a much better engine than last year. Here’s what Enrico Gualtieri, Head of Power Unit, had to say at the unveiling of the SF21:

“We adopted a systematic approach, with all departments – design, simulation, development, track – working together to find every opportunity for improvement. Along with our colleagues on the chassis side, we worked a lot on the layout of the power unit, to make the overall design of the car as efficient as possible. With the internal combustion engine, we focused on increasing its level of thermal efficiency, in conjunction with our partner Shell and this has produced an improvement in lap time that we estimate at over one tenth of a second.”

While the power unit was one of the key issues in 2020, Ferrari seemed to have problems with overall chassis as well. A high downforce built with an underperforming engine would be one way to summarise the team’s woes from the previous season. This is what Head of Chassis Enrico Cardile had to share:

“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. We also looked at the cooling system, increasing the effectiveness of the central radiator and designed the body with more “downwashing.” Aerodynamics was one of the areas affected by the regulation changes aimed at reducing the ability to generate vertical load, in order not to put too great a strain on the tyres. That’s why, as we began developing the car’s aerodynamics, we set ourselves two goals: recovering more aerodynamic downforce than was lost through the regulations and reducing drag. Because of the regulations, less drastic changes were possible at the front end of the car. So, we developed a new front wing which works in conjunction with a new concept nose, but the chassis itself and the suspension is off last year’s SF1000.”

So, there we have it from the stable’s mouth. Lots of changes have been made within the limitations. Will these pay off? We’ll have to wait and see. Our first glimpse will be during pre-season testing before the season begins at the Bahrain International Circuit on March 28. All being well, we might even see better strategy calls with Mattia Binotto still taking charge in the pits.

What are your thoughts on the looks of the SF21? Where do you think the Ferrari team will be after the first 5 races? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe to the Auto Loons for more F1 updates and news about cool cars.

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