Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne is being cautiously optimistic about Ferrari’s chances of challenging Mercedes. He said that it was possible that the Maranello squad has put together a “monster” of a Formula One car for 2018. Italian publication Autosprint revealed that the team’s new project is codenamed project 669. The new Ferrari car is expected to be launched by February 22.
Marchionne said, “I was in Maranello for the last few days and the guys are busy but they seem too relaxed. I can only conclude that we have either made a real monster or garbage! We have done everything to have a super strong car but we will have to wait until February 22 when we reveal it.”
Italian news publication La Gazzetta dello Sport claims that Kimi Raikkonen will have a new race engineer this year. Raikkonen’s regular engineer Dave Greenwood is said to be returning to Britain. The newspaper said Raikkonen will now be engineered by Carlo Santi, who is promoted from within.
Meanwhile, Marchionne did not deny rumours that he has bigger plans in F1 for Alfa Romeo, as the Italian brand becomes Sauber’s title sponsor this year. “We are sponsors but it is a work in progress with Sauber. It will take time,” he said.
Ferrari will now be preparing for the upcoming 2018 season and a new fight with Mercedes for the title. They will also face a challenge from Red Bull next season. Question marks also remain about whether McLaren can finally reclaim its position as a front-running team after 3 years of struggling with Honda.
Ferrari are the only team to have revealed a launch date for their 2018 challenger. With Vettel and Raikkonen, two capable drivers, behind the wheel, it should be a competitive season. But, Marchionne does not want to be too complacent regarding the new Ferrari. This is why he said that it could either be a beast or a failure.