Ferrari become first F1 team to reveal 2019 car launch date
Ferrari, the most successful team in F1, will reveal their car for the 2019 season on 15 February 2019. They are the first team to reveal a launch date, and with that they have officially kick-started the pre-season.
Ferrari, having come close to Mercedes in terms of performance in 2018, are determined to go one-up and win the Constructors for the first time since 2008, when they had Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen driving in tandem.
The Italian giants have gone 10 years without the title, and in the same time frame Brawn, Red Bull and Mercedes have won one, four and five titles respectively, making it a very frustrating drought for Ferrari.
Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene said at the Autosprint Awards in Milan that the Ferrari think tank, led by his deputy Mattia Binotto (Technical Director), have been working on next year's design for months now.
“The engines are already running on the test benches and there are parts of the car that are already in production.The parts more related to the performance will arrive at the last moment," Arrivabene said.
"On February 15 we will present the car and everything must be ready for that day. The engineers are working hard to complete the car. We do have some information from the guys who work on the simulator, but it’s still too early to talk about performance,” he added.
The launch date is just three days before the first pre-season test begins at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona. The Italian team go into their next campaign with Sebastian Vettel and rookie of the year Charles Leclerc as their two drivers.
Ferrari began the 2018 season promisingly before faltering down the stretch, despite having a car that was a match to Mercedes. The fight for both, the Constructors and the Drivers Championship, which were expected to go down the wire, fizzled out after the summer break.
Despite Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas underperforming, Ferrari couldn't nick the team championship that many experts saw them as favourites for early into the season.
Ferrari has code-named its new car internally as 670. Will it finally best Mercedes? Only time will tell.