Ferrari reveals 2021 F1 car, vows to turn things around
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By Alan Baldwin
MARANELLO, ITALY - Ferrari unveiled its new Formula One car on Wednesday as the sport's most successful team vowed to turn a page and power back from its worst season in 40 years.
The SF21, an evolution of last year's SF1000 but with a completely new engine and changed front wing and nose, showed off a slightly revised livery with a touch of green and two shades of red in a nod to past glories.
"The rear end is reminiscent of the burgundy red of the very first Ferrari," said team boss Mattia Binotto in the virtual presentation.
"But as it moves gradually towards the cockpit area, it transforms into the modern red that we have used in most recent years.
"This season presents us with many challenges and through this livery, visually, we reboot from our past and head into the future."
Ferrari failed to win a race last year and finished sixth overall, its worst performance since 1980 when the sport's oldest and most glamorous outfit ended up 10th.
The team has a changed lineup for 2021, with Spaniard Carlos Sainz replacing four-times world champion Sebastian Vettel alongside Monaco's Charles Leclerc.
The pairing is Ferrari's youngest since 1968, with an average of 25 years and three days when the season starts in Bahrain on March 28.
"We have tried to learn from our mistakes, we have tried to improve in the areas where simply we have not been strong enough," said racing director Laurent Mekies.
"We know there is a limit in how fast we can turn things around but nevertheless we have been trying to reconstruct methodically our way back to the more competitive side of the grid."
The car will make its track debut on Thursday in Bahrain for a filming day ahead of testing.
Power unit head Enrico Gualtieri reckoned an increase in the engine's thermal efficiency had produced an estimated improvement in lap time of more than a tenth of a second.
"2020 is behind us but it will not be forgotten and it will have made us stronger," said Ferrari president John Elkann in a message to fans.
"All of us in Ferrari want to make sure that we honour our founder Enzo Ferrari to start the 2021 championship with his winning spirit."