Ferrari unveiled their new SF-24 car on Tuesday, ready for the upcoming Formula One season which will be the last before Lewis Hamilton joins the Italian team from rivals Mercedes. The team head into their 2024 campaign, which has been overshadowed by seven-time F1 champion Hamilton agreeing to join next year, trying to recover ground on all-conquering Red Bull. And Ferrari unveiled the SF-24 to their legion of fans with a short and low-key video, adding in a statement that “a small audience of guests” were given a live viewing of the new car.
Among those present were Ferrari’s Team Principal Frederic Vasseur and drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, who will race together for the last time this season.
Ferrari said that “the positive feeling the drivers had in the cockpit over the final few races of last season” was the starting point for the new car, with the aim being “a car that is easy to drive and that reacts predictably”.
“This year, we must start off where we left off at the end of last season, when we were consistent front runners,” said Vasseur.
“The longest ever F1 season awaits us and Charles, Carlos and I all agree, we must be more clinical and effective in how we manage the races.”
The new 24-race campaign kicks off in Bahrain on March 2 with Ferrari not having won a drivers championship since 2007 and a constructors since 2008.
Ferrari finished miles behind Red Bull in both the championships in 2023, with Leclerc closing the season 369 points behind champion Max Verstappen in fifth and Sainz seventh.
“I like the look of the car a lot… But of course, what really interests me is how it will perform on track, as that’s all that matters,” said Leclerc.
“This season the aim is to be front runners all the time and I want to give our fans plenty to cheer about.”
Briton Hamilton will partner Leclerc when he joins Ferrari — replacing Sainz whose contract is up come the end of the season — hoping to finally claim a record-breaking eighth F1 title.
The 39-year-old won the last of his world crowns in 2020 but lost the 2021 championship in controversial fashion to Verstappen when the race director ignored the safety car rules in Abu Dhabi, effectively blocking the Briton’s route to victory in both that Grand Prix and the championship.
Dutchman Verstappen has dominated F1 since, romping to the last two championships in a powerful combination of great car and driver.
Hamilton finished third last season but he didn’t win a single Grand Prix for the second year in a row and ended up 341 points behind Verstappen who won 19 of 22 races.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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