Scuderia Ferrari will enter the 2020 FIA Formula 1 Championship season as their twelfth year without winning a championship. They will be hoping to mount a title attack with their duo of Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc who begin their second year as teammates.
Vettel No Longer Number 1 at Ferrari?
Vettel will take up a fifth-year with Ferrari having been at the team since 2015, however, he’s not had the easiest of times at Ferrari, since the 2017 FIA Formula 1 Championship season his team have been nearer to the front and battling for wins most race weekends, but he is yet to win a championship with the team, mainly due to Lewis Hamilton‘s domination.
Additionally, Vettel has had to deal with the departure of Kimi Räikkönen and the introduction of blooming talent Charles Leclerc. Last season was their first as a pairing, and it appeared to be a hard one for Vettel, as he was not longer given the number one role at the team. His teammate in only his second year of F1 took more wins and poles than him for the team.
This season it seems the four-time World Champion will have a lot of work to do to keep the team and the F1 fans happy. With only one win to his name last season it looks like a difficult time ahead for Vettel compared to the days with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing. It seems he is no longer expected to beat his teammate Leclerc after the 2019 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.
Onwards and upwards for Leclerc after strong performance in 2019
Leclerc has had one of the most impressive starts to his Ferrari career; last season, he moved from Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team, as they were known at the time, to the Italian Team. In his first season he took two wins and ten podiums, more notably he took the most pole positions for the season, beating Hamilton, who holds the overall record for poles in F1.
Leclerc came close to wins on several occasions including at the Bahrain Grand Prix, before an engine cylinder failed. The highlight of his year came as he won the Italian Grand Prix, which no Ferrari driver had done since Fernando Alonso took victory there in the 2010 FIA Formula 1 Championship.
This season there is a lot expected of Leclerc, he has shown why Ferrari chose him to become the second youngest driver for the marque in their history. It is unknown at this stage whether Leclerc’s Ferrari will be good enough for a bid at the World Championship, but fans will likely believe, if the car is good enough, he may challenge for the title.
Just how good (or bad) is the SF1000?
Ferrari launched their new car the SF1000 in glamorous surroundings and at first glance, it looked to be very similar to the 2019 car.
Mattia Binotto, explained, “It may look similar to last year’s, but it’s completely different. We have been as extreme on the concept as we could, to look for the maximum aerodynamic performance first.”
In 2019 aerodynamics was an area where the Ferrari really lacked, so for 2020 they have take a full on approach to address the issues to achieve the best result. However, in testing at the Cirucit De Catalunya-Barcelona, they looked to be lagging behind the rest of the field, and possibly fourth at best out of the top teams.
What can Ferrari do in 2020?
Ferrari will reach one thousand Grands Prix starts as a team this year, but does this season look like one of success? Currently, based on testing, it does not look the best year ahead for the Tifosi. The team mentioned that if they are behind at an early stage of the season, they will turn toward their focus to the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.
The Italian team’s first season with Leclerc and Vettel was a hard one for both drivers as there was no clear number one. The pair ended up colliding at the Brazilian Grand Prix, showing they were allowed to fight but still unknown as to who the number 1 at the team was.
Ferrari could also see their record of consecutive world championships broken as Mercedes aim to go seven years in a row an Hamilton nears to Micheal Schumacher‘s record of seven driver’s world championships.
The team have a lot to contend with this season as they prepare for the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park. Where it will become clearer about where the team are in comparison to their competition.