Scuderia Ferrari Launch their SF71H in Maranello Presentation


Ferrari has designed its 2018 Formula One auto with the aim of wiping out Mercedes' advantage at high-speed circuits while consolidating its own strengths.

The team is hoping for a recovery following its tough campaign against defenders Mercedes that saw the Italian organization lose its championship hold midway through last season.

Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton is predicting a three-way battle for this year's titles with Red Bull entering the fray. F1 experts believe Ferrari could turn the tide in the 2018 Formula One season.

Mercedes have been dominant recently, winning the last four drivers' and constructors' championships, but though Hamilton won nine races and his team-mate Valtteri Bottas took three in 2017, the Ferrari was often a match for the Mercedes, while Red Bull also ended 2017 strongly.

In a press release, Ferrari explained the differences between the 2018 vehicle and its predecessor, the SF70H.

There's a slightly increased rake over 2017's vehicle, though it shares the same wheelbase length. "The suspension follows the tried and tested practice of using push-rods at the front and pull-rods at the rear, however, their design has been updated based on experience gained during the first season running the wider tyres".

Ferrari heads into the season with an unchanged line-up of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel, paired for a fourth-straight season.

"It looks nice and usually when it looks nice there is speed also", Raikkonen said.

Sky F1 analyst Mark Hughes believes the 2018 auto is a logical evolution.

The vehicle, called the SF71H - carrying on from last year's 70th anniversary-celebrating SF70H - was presented in a ceremony hosted by Ferrari test driver Marc Gene. The SF71H is the first Ferrari F1 challenger since the 2009 machine not to feature Santander branding, following the Spanish financial giant's decision to end its F1 sponsorship deals.

Pre-season testing of the SF71H gets underway next week at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona.