Italian sport: The new Ferrari
- WTI Magazine #136 Feb 20, 2021
Ferrari is without any doubt the most loved car in the world. The “Cavallino rampante” ("prancing horse") is synonymous with victory, speed, elegance, technology and no car manufacturer can boast the same tradition and the impressive number of fans in the world.
In the United States and Canada alone, the Ferrari Club of America has thousands of members, as Albert DeLauro, Chairman of the board, reported in an interview to We the Italians back in 2014: "We have over 5,500 members spread across the two countries. Geographically we are broken into 16 regions and some of those regions are broken down further into smaller groups called chapters; currently we have 39 chapters".
The car manufacturer founded by engineer Enzo Ferrari has become a myth over time especially thanks to the racing cars, real legends in Formula 1.
Ferrari fans, however, have been experiencing a huge disappointment for too many years now. The last victory in the Formula 1 world championship dates back to 2007, thanks to the Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen. After that, total darkness. Almost fifteen years without successes, with Red Bull and Mercedes dominating almost the entire period.
Last year, in the championship marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, was one of the most disastrous results for Ferrari. And now everyone wonders if this year Ferrari will finally become competitive again to return to win the world title.
In the championship that will start next March 28th at the Barhain International Circuit, Ferrari will start with several new features. A new car, a new driver and two grand prix to be held at home.
Let's start with the new car: in recent years Ferraris have not been very competitive. It's called the SF21, and it's based on the 2020 car, the SF1000, because the regulations don't allow for many changes. This is not good news, considering the results obtained in 2020, so Mercedes and RedBull remain ahead, who have done much better than Ferrari in 2020. In order to recover competitiveness, it will be necessary to understand how much the new aerodynamics and the new Power Unit, on which important changes have been made that have already led to an increase in power, will affect.
The new car will be driven by two young drivers: the 23 years old French Charles Leclerc, in his third season with Ferrari, and the 26 years old Spaniard Carlos Sainz Jr., making his debut with the prancing horse. Two drivers who have not won much so far, but who are ready to prove their worth because they are very talented.
In 2019 Leclerc was an explosive rookie, the second Ferrari driver behind Sebastian Vettel, with a 4th place finish at the end of the world championship thanks to 2 wins and 10 podiums. Last year, on the other hand, was very disappointing with an 8th place finish, no wins and only two podiums. Now that Sebastian Vettel is gone, however, Leclerc is Ferrari’s first driver and could hopefully return at least to to the level of 2019.
Carlos Sainz Jr., son of legendary rally driver Carlos Sainz, has been racing in Formula 1 since 2015 and has only scored two podiums. He has driven Toro Rosso, Renault and McLaren in the last two years, all of which were uncompetitive cars. For him this is the big chance and he could help a lot his teammate Leclerc because he has much more experience. A pair that offers some hope, as Mattia Binotto, Team Principal Ferrari, told the press: "We are convinced that a pair of drivers rich in talent and personality like the one formed by Charles and Carlos, the youngest in the last fifty years of our team's history, is the best possible combination to allow us to reach the goals we have set ourselves.”
Of course the golden years of Ferrari are far away, when the 7 times world champion Michael Schumacher dominated on every track, but the car manufacturer from Maranello is trying to become competitive again in order to give satisfaction to the millions of fans all over the world. And speaking of Schumacher, this year will debut in Formula 1 his son Mick, who will run with the Haas team with a Ferrari engine. Surely he will have many fans in memory of his father, who unfortunately is still in a coma state after the ski accident of December 2013.
For all fans, however, the appointment is for March 28th with the first Formula 1 Grand Prix of 2021. Then there will be two legendary appointments not to be missed: those of Imola on April 18th and Monza on September 12th , where we hope that tens of thousands of Ferrari fans will once again be able to paint the stands red.