Ferrari are hopeful that its new car, the SF21, will not suffer from the straight-line speed deficit which plagued the SF1000, in 2020.
The Italian team had suffered from the SF1000 having a faulty aerodynamic design and its power unit not able to generate enough horsepower. This, in turn, affected the car’s ability to attain top speed on the straights.
It left their drivers, Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel, having to squeeze as much performance possible just to scrounge the odd podium here and there.
This was the main reason why the team wound up finishing in sixth in the Constructor’s standings.
Ferrari clawing back much-needed performance in 2021
At the 2021 Ferrari launch event on February 26, team principal Mattia Binotto was very confident that the new car is in better shape in terms of having a functional power unit.
He said, “I think that last year the main issue was the speed on the straights, not only the power but both power and drag.”
He’s confident the team has worked extensively on the power unit and aerodynamic stability of the car. The Italian said, “We’ve worked a lot, both on the power unit, and the car aerodynamics, to reduce the drag of the car.”
“And based on our simulations today, based on what we can see in terms of power output from the dynos, and the drag of the car from the wind tunnel, I think that we recovered quite a lot of speed on the straights.”
He, however, warned that we need to see how it goes at Bahrain in the preseason testing. He said, “So I’m expecting the speed not to be such an issue as it was. We hope to be competitive, but we will know it only when being in Bahrain because it’s always relative to what the others are doing.”
Will the Prancing Horses make a quick come back to the top in 2021?
From the early chatter around Ferrari, they’re fairly confident of bouncing back in the standings. Their aim for this season will be to try to finish third in the standings.
They could advantage of the changes that have taken place at the other teams which finished above them. McLaren are incorporating a new power unit and driver in Daniel Ricciardo.
Aston Martin have undergone a rebranding from Racing Point, which will have its initial teething problems.
And Alpine have gone through the same thing as Aston Martin, rebranding from Renault.
So, this will be a good opportunity to roar back into the reckoning.