Presentata la nuova SF15-T
Ferrari unveils Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel’s 2015 F1 car
Ferrari has unveiled the new SF15-T 2015 Formula 1 car that it hopes will get it back in the hunt for victories with Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen this season.
After a disappointing 2014 campaign that has prompted a major management and staffing overhaul, the team is determined that the changes it has made will help move it back up the grid.
The James Allison-designed car features a long protruding nose and an aggressive sidepod concept.
But key to Ferrari’s hopes will be what is underneath the skin, with the Italian team’s power unit having been one the weak points of its 2014 season.
The team has undertaken a comprehensive overhaul of its engine in the hope of closing the gap on the benchmark Mercedes.
As well as new management, Ferrari has a change on the driver front too with Vettel lining up alongside Raikkonen this year.
Vettel is due to give the car its first official run at Jerez in Spain on Sunday, when F1’s first pre-season test starts.
Ferrari expects its 2015 F1 car to suit Kimi Raikkonen better
Ferrari technical director James Allison is confident that the team’s 2015 Formula 1 car will suit Kimi Raikkonen better than last year’s.
Raikkonen struggled throughout 2014 with a lack of confidence under braking and on corner entry, which left him unable to regularly challenge team-mate Fernando Alonso
But with Ferrari chiefs now having a better understanding of what the Finn needs to be successful, the team has made tweaks to the concept of its 2015 F1 challenger.
Technical director James Allison said after the launch of the new SF15-T on Friday that Raikkonen should be better off this year.
"We will only know for sure once we are running on the track, but I hope that the SF-15T will be much more comfortable for him with both a stronger front end in mid corner and more support from the rear under braking," said Allison.
Raikkonen could also be helped by stronger rear tyres from Pirelli – which will help improve confidence when cornering.
"It will be the rear casing that is the most significant," explained Allison.
"It allows the car better support under combined loading conditions and gives the driver more confidence through the corner as a result."
Despite optimism that the new Ferrari has addressed many of the weaknesses of last year’s car, Allison admits that it will not be straightforward to deliver the wins that the team is targeting.
"No one ever said Formula 1 was supposed to be easy," he said.
"It will be a very stiff challenge to win races in 2015, but we have made good steps forward over the whole car and we hope that this work will translate into a notable step forward in our fortunes."
Allison also confirmed that Toni Cuquerella, Robert Kubica’s former race engineer at BMW, would join the team as chief race engineer.
Vettel hails ‘straightforward’ Ferrari F1 team-mate Raikkonen
Sebastian Vettel thinks his relationship with Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari will be more "straightforward" than most Formula 1 team-mate partnerships.
Raikkonen said when Vettel was announced as his 2015 team-mate that he knew the German better than any of his other F1 rivals and expected it to be a "fun" partnership.
As Ferrari launched its new SF15-T on Friday, Vettel suggested the Finn would be particularly easy to work with by F1 standards.
"I don’t expect any problems," said Vettel.
"He will be a difficult team-mate to beat on the track because he’s very quick and very talented, but off the track we get on well.
"Usually there are not being words being exchanged, but it’s very straightforward – which is something I appreciate in Kimi and it doesn’t happen that often in Formula 1."
Team boss Mauricio Arrivabene underlined that he did not want driver dynamics to be hog the limelight this season.
Last year’s match-up between Fernando Alonso and Raikkonen was the subject of much pre-season speculation, while in previous years Felipe Massa’s number two status to Alonso had proved consistently topical.
"They have to work together as team-mates, they have to work with the team," Arrivabene said of his 2015 drivers.
"I want to be talking about the overall team and not only about the driver.
"Everybody is pushing and working together in the same direction and I am expecting the drivers to do the same."
Raikkonen agreed with Vettel that they should make a harmonious pairing.
"It’s the first time working with him but I’m sure we’ll have a good understanding of each other and to push the team forward," said the 2007 champion.
"Obviously we’ll fight against each other, but in a good way, and we’ll push each other to do better things."