Whenever a new Ferrari is uncovered, the world stops to have a look – after all, they are a luxury brand of global proportions. The SF15-T will be the first Ferrari of a new era for the team. A seismic shift within the outfit’s hierarchy over the winter and the arrival of Sebastian Vettel means that this car is intended to be the first step on a journey to a return to the top of the pile.
The aspect of this particular Ferrari which is most poignant is the nose. The shallow profiling is a characteristic shared with the MP4-30 and indeed the C34, (also launched today) and is an alternative interpretation of the regulations compared with Mercedes and Lotus, who have opted for a ‘pinched’ nose profile, with a similar mounting position to last season in the case of the former. In many ways, the Ferrari nose is similar to the launch nose of the MP4-29 in 2014, with prominent vertical spars dominating the design.
However, I doubt you are here for an in-depth technical analysis and if you are, there will be much better articles to feast your eyes upon elsewhere on the inter-webs. This article, as with all my car launch pieces, is all about my first impressions and thoughts for the campaign ahead.
In terms of aesthetics, the car has been described as “sexy” by Mauricio Arrivabene and while I would say that this is an overstatement, it is red and it is a Ferrari, so points are scored there. The livery looks almost identical to last season’s equivalent and despite many fans lamenting the ‘vaccum cleaner’ aesthetics of the F14-T’s nose, I would suggest that the aforementioned design is preferable compared to the SF15-T’s version, which appears a touch ungainly. However, if it proves to be an improvement on last years challenger, then any aesthetic drawbacks will quickly be forgotten.
Ultimately, the team cannot afford for the 2015 challenger to be anything but an improvement on its predecessor. Ferrari faced their first win-less season since 1993 in the last campaign and despite Fernando Alonso’s best efforts, the car looked average throughout the season. Average is just not good enough for the Scuderia. This mentality has been evident throughout the winter, as a mass exodus of key personnel has seen the team stripped and subsequently re-built. With Arrivabene at the helm, James Allison leading the technical team and Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari’s marquee signing, behind the wheel, it appears that Ferrari are looking to recreate the Schumacher, Brawn, Todt and Byrne super-team, which saw them embark on their most successful period in Ferrari’s long history.
Achieving similar success will be very difficult. Speaking to the press today, Vettel acknowledged that turning the team around is not about to be the work of a moment – Ferrari could well face another season of harsh realities before the tide begins to turn, with so many new arrivals needing to bed into the Maranello atmosphere. It is a long-term project and today, the first step of the long journey has been made.
Image Credit: Scuderia Ferrari