SF70H is the car that should bring Ferrari back where it belongs, fighting for wins and title, as the most successful team in Formula One history tries to overcome the difficulties from previous seasons and restore its glory.
The 2016 Formula One season did not go the way in which Scuderia Ferrari had hoped, fresh off the back of the promise of 2015. The Maranello ream fell backwards, was lout-developed by Red Bull in the second part of the championshio, did not manage to win a single Grand Prix, parted company with one of the most highly regarded and respected technical directors (James Allison), made a series of strategic race decisions, which all lead to a very frustrating year for both drivers, especially for Sebastian Vettel, who on many occasions seemed disappointed with the unfortunate events.
Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne has since chosen not to go on a recruitment sending spree in order to replace James Allison preferring instead to steady the ship by showing faith in the people already there. Martino Binotto now oversees the technical side of things, while Rory Byrne has been brought out of semi-retirement (again) to help with the concept and development of the SF70H car for this season. There are intriguing stories about the 2017 Ferrari power plant and the new piston technology within it. Visually, the SF70H car features the long sharkfin seen on all but the Mercedes so far, and also the T-wing ahead of the rear wing. Rivals Mercedes tested a similar concept at Silverstone during its filming day this week.
The team stands poised at a crossroads. But despite all recent problems, Scuderia Ferrari should never be under-estimated. Is the Italian team ready to bounce back in the strongest way imaginable? Or was 2016 just the start of a steady slide into the morass, similar to that seen in the early ’90s?
These are some of the questions that must be playing on Sebastian Vettel’s mind as well as he analyses his plans and long term future. Kimi Raikkonen remains Scuderia Ferrari’s last F1 world champion and a great barometer for the German driver’s form but the Maranello side needs to provide its drivers with a top-class car in order to hope of keeping this line-up for at least one more season.