With a new year comes a new Formula One season, and, as always, it kicks off with teams unveiling the cars that will battle it out on the track in 2016. Ferrari is the first to unveil its new car, with the Ferrari SF16-H that aims to take on Mercedes AMG Petronas mano a mano for the title after the Scuderia’s recovery to second in the standings last year.
Debuting in a new red-and-white colour scheme, the SF16-H is a major departure from last year’s SF15-T. The front end features a shorter, taller nose that’s more anteater-like compared to the broad schnoz of 2015, while the repackaging of the hybrid power unit and its accessories has resulted in a tighter rear end. The team has also moved to a pushrod suspension, abandoning the pullrod design used previously.
As with previous seasons since 2014, the SF16 is powered by a 1.6 litre turbocharged V6, with one motor-generator unit recapturing kinetic energy under braking (MGU-K, for kinetic), the other generating energy from the exhaust (MGU-H, for heat). The power unit drives the rear wheels through an eight-speed gearbox.
For 2016, Ferrari retains its two drivers from last year, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen. After a disastrous winless season in 2014, the team scored three wins last year with Vettel, eventually finishing second in both the drivers’ (Vettel) and constructors’ standings.
“We had a fantastic year last year, my first season with the team, so naturally we all want more” said Vettel. Last year we finished second in the constructors’ championship so it’s only one more step, which is a difficult one to take, but hopefully this is one that helps us achieve it.”
“Last year [the goal] was three victories and we got it,” said team principal Maurizio Arrivabene. “This year we need to push a bit more, so it is going to be the championship – at least we would like to fight until the end. It won’t be easy, our competitors won’t be sleeping, but for sure we are all committed to do our best.”