Scuderia Ferrari have become the first Formula 1 team to reveal when they’ll be unveiling their 2024 challenger to the world, after pencilling in February 13 2024 as their special day.
This goes against tradition for the Maranello-based side, who typically take the covers off their newest car on Valentine’s Day (February 14). Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur told media that the reasoning for this is that with pre-season testing in 2024 being earlier than it was this year, it’s been “quite a challenge” to schedule all their usual events.
“The launch will take place on the 13th of February, the day before the Valentine’s Day,” Vasseur revealed, as per Motorsport.com. “You will see the rest [of the details, including the car’s name] on that day.
“Why? Because we will have one day more before the [Bahrain pre-season] test,” he joked. “No, it’s quite tight, more seriously. We have the test a bit before [its 2023 slot] and it’s quite a challenge to put everything together.
“It means that we had no other option. I think also that some other teams are doing it on the 14th, but it’s quite challenging to be all ready for Bahrain.”
Fans of the Italians will be hopeful that Ferrari’s 2024 car – boasting a new concept – will see them return to the recent heights of 2022, where for the majority of the campaign they successfully took the fight to Oracle Red Bull Racing and Max Verstappen.
2023 was a step backwards for Ferrari, whose highest point of the recently completing campaign was Carlos Sainz Jr‘s victory at the Singapore Grand Prix. Sainz was the only non-Red Bull driver in 2023 to claim a race win. The historic side did improve in the latter rounds, with Charles Leclerc‘s second place finish in Las Vegas having been another high moment.
Despite the positive moments late in the campaign, Ferrari had to settle for third in the Constructors’ Championship, one place lower than they managed in 2022. Vasseur has since admitted that having such strong expectations ahead of the season was a huge error of judgement, resulting in him refusing to make a similar mistake ahead of 2024.
“I don’t have to promise something,” Vasseur insisted. “The best way is to be focused on what we are doing to deliver.
“The Christmas gift for them will be if we’re able to do a good job in March, not for Christmas. On Christmas the gift is just based on promises and I don’t want to make promises.
“We’ll see in March if it will be the Easter gift.”