IIn the historic Romolo Valli theater in Reggio Emilia, Sebastian Vettel immediately noticed an important detail about his new Ferrari. “It is a little redder than last year,” said the four-time Formula 1 world champion smiling at the official launch of the racing car. Vettel’s new Ferrari is officially called SF1000. The name points to the 1000th Ferrari Grand Prix in Formula 1 this year. And Vettel absolutely wants to become world champion with the Italians for the first time in his last contract year.
“I like him very much,” said the 32-year-old in a chic black jacket on stage and, after the pathetic presentation, also got the tricolor slung over his shoulders. Because Reggio Emilia was the birthplace of the three-colored Italian flag 223 years ago. “I can’t wait to finally drive it,” Vettel said.
Heppenheimer had his first chance on the asphalt on February 19 in Barcelona, when the first official test drives started. Then the SF1000 should at least indicate its potential. “We have to learn from our mistakes,” said team principal Mattia Binotto after an introduction with classical music, conductor, choir and DJ. “We have to focus on reliability.”
It’s time for Ferrari and Vettel. The Italians were last world championship drivers in 2007, the last time they won their constructors’ championship. In his sixth year at Scuderia, Vettel now wants to win the title with the permanent Formula 1 member for the first time. The last German to do this with Ferrari was his idol Michael Schumacher.
“We are all focused on one goal, and that is to be won,” said Ferrari President Louis Camilleri in the full theater, which also accommodated Schumacher’s son Mick. The Formula 2 driver is part of the Scuderia youth program. “We are counting on Sebastian and Charles (Leclerc)”, Camilleri emphasized with a view of his two star pilots.
Vettel’s eyes were shiny. Until the first Grand Prix on March 15th in Melbourne there is still a lot of work waiting for him and his stable rivals from Monaco. Vettel said that he thinks the SF1000 is a “step forward”. “But part of the adventure is that we have to be patient.”