Binotto: We tried to be as extreme as we could

Introducing the team’s 2019 contender, newly promoted Ferrari boss, Mattia Binotto, admits that though the car is not a revolution it is more aggressive than its predecessor.

“In 2018 we got really good achievements, and this car is a development of last year’s car,” said Binotto at the unveiling of the SF90, and while its predecessor was a car capable of winning the title, a major wrong-turn by the Italian team in terms of development late-season, combined with a string of errors by Sebastian Vettel, meant it never fulfilled its potential.

“It is not a revolution,” he explained. “We simply tried to push to raise the bar, raise the level, and try to be as extreme as we could.

“There are a few changes that are straightforward, like the front wing that is for the technical regulations that have changed since last time,” he said, though the team has gone for the more conventional approach as opposed to ‘sister’ team Alfa Romeo. “But if you look at it in all the details, certainly we try to push very hard, being innovative.

“The roll hoop is very narrow and very slim,” he continued. “And if you look at the bodywork at the back it is very, very slim, and that is thanks to the entire job, which you cannot see because it is below, in terms of engine installation and power installation packaging. A lot of effort has been done and I think the final shape is the result of all this effort. We like it.”

While the team paid tribute to Kimi Raikkonen and former boss Maurizio Arrivabene, who “remain part of the Ferrari family”, there remains concern that Binotto should have been left in charge of the technical side of the team rather than placing him is a role which is more political than anything.

“We begin a new exciting chapter in our history, led by Mattia,” said CEO, Louis Camilleri. “Mattia has been with Ferrari for about a quarter of a century. His stellar career over that period is clear testament to his exceptional abilities and leadership skills.

“He knows the Scuderia inside out. He is very much a team player, decisive, talented and determined to make a huge difference at all levels. I have every confidence that he will lead the Scuderia to ever greater heights.”