Maranello, Italy - Ferrari's new SF71H Formula One car already looks a big step up from the 2017 car before it has turned a wheel in anger, says four times world champion Sebastian Vettel.
The sport's oldest and most successful team is hoping the car, with more red and less white in the livery following the departure of sponsor Santander, will take it to its first championship in a decade. Vettel won five races in 2017 but finished runner-up to Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton, who is now also a four times world champion.
Now is the time," Vettel told guests at Thursday's unveiling in Ferrari's Maranello factory. "When you see the car, it’s all ready and you want to get in and go out on the track and have a go.
"To stand here now is very special for all of us. I think they are all waiting for us to say how it feels. So we can’t wait to get out on track to see how the car performs, how it behaves.
"I think that’s the answer that we all want to hear and we go from there. For sure, the amount of effort that has gone in and the attention to detail in so many areas is impressive."