Vettel, not Hamilton, is 'first choice' for 2021 — Ferrari

Ferrari in hot water over newly-launched 2020 F1 car

Ferrari in hot water over newly-launched 2020 F1 car

Narrower than last season's SF90, with a deeper red colouring the body, Ferrari is pinning its hopes on the SF1000 auto earning them drivers and constructors titles that have eluded them for 12 and 11 years respectively. "Starting on equal terms, we were last year, we are this year as well". "I am impatient to run it".

The Scuderia broke with tradition and presented its new racing auto outside of its stronghold of Maranello, unveiling it instead amid of sea of red on stage at the Teatro Romolo-Valli in the nearby city of Reggio Emilia.

An Italian consumer group have called for Italian authorities to seize the Ferrari SF1000 that was launched on Tuesday, believing the Mission Winnow branding featured on the vehicle and driver overalls to contravene advertising laws in the country.

Italy's Ministry of Health reportedly ruled a few weeks ago that the public and online promotion of alternative tobacco products or heated tobacco products should be construed as the indirect promotion of tobacco consumption, a view that supports Codacons claim against Ferrari.

If the red machine looked superficially similar under the stage lights to the 2019 version, team principal Mattia Binotto said appearances were deceptive.

"It's 70 years of Formula One, we have been there from the start and we are going to reach the figure of 1,000 Grands Prix, which is something incredible".

Ferrari won only three races past year, two by Leclerc and the other Vettel, and finished runners-up to Mercedes who won both titles for a sixth successive campaign. "Let's say they can both fight for being ahead and that's it. Let them race".

"I feel young enough", said the 32-year-old. I don't see it that way, down and up. "So, I don't think it changes much".

Last season, Vettel and Leclerc often ended up duelling on the track, culminating in the two drivers colliding during the Brazilian GP.

Leclerc proved last season that he can beat a world champion driver.

"We have learned the lesson from Brazil".

Ferrari in hot water over newly-launched 2020 F1 car

He said: "Last year, we said Seb would have been first driver and Charles second". A lot of people on the auto, we are a team, and things in Brazil shouldn't happen. The 2019 season proved a particularly cold shower for the only team to have competed in every championship since the start in 1950, with the auto raising hopes by being quickest in pre-season testing only to then fail to deliver as expected.

"(It was) not like I had a different auto", he said.

"Now I can't wait to be out on track and try it and to show all the work that has been done on this auto". I'm ready to learn from my mistakes to become an even better driver.

Maranello personnel and the team's global fan base haven't had individual honours to cheer since Raikkonen got his hands on the World Drivers' Championship title in 2007.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc helped unveil the team's SF1000 auto on Tuesday at a glitzy ceremony in Italy's motorsport heartland of Emilia-Romagna, ahead of the 2020 Formula One season.

He sounded riled at the launch of the Italian team's new auto in Reggio Emilia on Tuesday night when it was put to him by Reuters that he had lost ground while Leclerc had gained stature.

Leclerc has a new contract that ties him to Ferrari until the end of 2024, and is the face of the future, whereas Vettel is out of contract at the end of the year.

Asked if Hamilton would be a "fall-back option" in case Vettel leaves, Binotto said: "We are focused on our drivers - and we are considering Seb as our option at the moment". What distinguishes us is the unbelievable collective effort of everyone in Ferrari's Gestione Sportiva, both on and off the track.

"It will take the time that is needed".

"We both had the same vehicle, and the same chance to race well. There will be a time for the rest". We are talking to Vettel and we need time. "We will have time", he added.

Vettel insists he can stop Hamilton going on to make history this year, though, with Michael Schumacher's record seven F1 titles and 91 race wins firmly in the Brit's sights.

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