With barely a couple of weeks left until 2019 end, all the attention will turn to 2020. Admittedly, F1 fans are still in hibernation, or binge-watching the 2019 season highlights. However, they have a reason to rejoice, as Scuderia Ferrari will draw first blood in the car launch front.
During the team’s Christmas media lunch at Maranello, team boss Mattia Binotto revealed the date, February 11, 2020. So, with other teams still coming away from a crazy 2019, Ferrari are the first team to publicly confirm their plan.
Last year, Scuderia Ferrari failed to build on a solid pre-season form, when they went from the hunted to the hunter. Fortunately for them, they rediscovered their mojo after the summer break as they won three races in a row.
Ultimately, they fell short yet again, though they can take comfort in the fact that there were positives. First and foremost, it became clear they now have the best engine on the grid. secondly, Charles Leclerc took more pole positions than anyone else.
Binotto explained Ferrari are changing their strategy next year with regards pre-season, unveiling a launch-spec car earlier than they did this term with further testing, development and tweaks before the first test.
“We will launch the car very early,” said Binotto. “I think we will be the earliest. The reason why we are anticipating the launch and the unveiling and then moving on is we must do some dyno homologations before going to Barcelona.
“We are launching the car on the 11 February 2020. Soon after we’ve got an intense program of bench [testing] before we go to Barcelona.”
Teams will have two fewer days of pre-season testing in Barcelona next year, with the first of two three-day tests running from 19-21 February, and the second from 26-28 February.