Ferrari’s 2021 car fired up for the first time as fallen F1 giants eye improved season with SF21 new

Ferrari are confident their new 2021 car is “improved in all areas” possible as they fired up their challenger for the first time at Maranello.

After their worst season in 40 years when they finished an almost-unprecedented sixth place in the Constructors’ Championship, Ferrari have already admitted they must do better in the new season despite restrictions in how teams can develop their cars over the winter.

Particular development focus has been placed on their engine after slipping to the bottom of the sport’s power stakes in 2020 following a series of technical directives the previous winter.

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That new engine was heard for the first time on Friday as the Italian team completed a successful first symbolic fire up of their new challenger, which is called the SF21.

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“Our 2021 season starts here,” said team boss Mattia Binotto to the team’s workforce from the fire up.

“We can expect plenty of challenges along the way and we are determined to do better.

“The car has been improved in all areas where developments are permitted. We must work in a determined and focused way, aware of where we were and where we want to go.”

Ferrari, meanwhile, confirmed they will hold two online pre-season events to launch their team and car for the new season, on February 26 and then March 10 respectively. Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, teams are generally holding scaled-down online-only events this year to reveal their 2021 challengers.

F1 2021 launch dates

Carlos Sainz has joined from McLaren for 2021 and is set to be formally presented as a Ferrari driver for the first time at the February 26 event. The Spaniard, who replaces Sebastian Vettel, teams up with Charles Leclerc.

Both drivers have already completed some track time this year, albeit in a three-year-old car during Ferrari’s week-long running at Fiorano a fortnight ago.

F1 pre-season testing begins in Bahrain on March 12, with the 2021 season underway from the same venue on March 28.

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