Super Thursday as Ferrari rolls out the F1 car it hopes will go one better than 2017
Posted By: James Allen  |  22 Feb 2018   |  5:29 pm GMT  |  155 comments

After Mercedes’ theatrical launch at Silverstone, Ferrari rolled out its challenger online on Thursday afternoon, meaning that the three leading teams’ cars are now out in the open.

They will all now travel to Barcelona for testing starting on Monday, although conditions in Europe are set to be very cold in the next week and there is also some rain forecast which will make the testing of the new Pirelli tyre compounds quite challenging.

The Ferrari builds on the car that narrowly missed out on winning the world championship last season. The 2017 car was a huge step forward for Maranello with not only more wins than for many years, but also pole positions. This has been Ferrari’s Achilles heel for a while and certainly in the hybrid turbo era, as it was unable to match the high regime setting on the engine which Mercedes can access for extra power on the final qualifying runs.

Last season we saw Ferrari getting close to that and also finding a way to make the tyres work better than Mercedes in hot conditions and on tight tracks, especially the street circuits.

The Mercedes has maintained the same longer wheelbase and the Ferrari has also grown a little, if still not as long as the Mercedes.

The rear view mirrors are innovative, playing a clear aerodynamic role in what looks a very sleek car. The rear end of the car is also narrower and according to the technical chief Mattia Binotto there has been even more emphasis on the qualifying performance of the car both from a power init and packaging point of view.

Ferrari clearly feel emboldened by last season and feel that by developing what was already a good car they can go one better in 2018 and challenge Mercedes to the end.

There has been considerable push back from fans on the halo so far with the new cars launched and it has to be said that on the Ferrari it looks particularly bad, even though they have painted it red.

Motorsport fans always look to the launch of a new Ferrari F1 car and expect to see something beautiful to stir the soul, but this one will take some getting used to.

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Sounds good, looks bad.


Maybe someone can explain. If the halos (haloes sp.?) are all the same (as I expect they should be) how can one design be worse than another? Paint? Or, is it it’s placing relative to the air box intake? I’m inherently stupid and artistically challenged so please help me. I don’t expect James will answer, so perhaps another expert. Seeebee, GasBoy?


Anyone else here stoked for the upcoming season? Or is it all just negative as I have read in the first few posts. Didn’t get any further. Couldn’t. Roll on Australia!


This is the problem with Halo. Thongs aren’t built for comfort or speed. Just the beach!


Ugliest Cars Ever… A Brick would look prettier with paint and wheels. If this is the new product from the new MGT then bring back Bernie. OMG. Ugly All of them. Not looking forward to watching this lot on my TV.


I expect a Ferrari to be beautiful.

This one fails my expectation.

A couple of wins might help it look better, but not much.

Tornillo Amarillo

RIC should choose Ferrari… they are really “on track.”


There is a huge real estate available on the back wing, after the exit of Santander. Curious to know, to which high profile brand, this will be sold to.


So far Red Bull is the car it impressed me the most. Merc and Ferrari are evolution of their previous year concepts. RB , Ferrari and McLaren (but RB most of all) seem they were able to integrate best the halo in the car. When the car sits the engine intake is clearer from halo turbulence than a Merc… but as always track will talk.


Serious comment/question: this doesn’t even look like photos of a real car to me!? It looks like a total photoshop, no?!

Tornillo Amarillo

IMO Best looking car: FERRARI !

2nd best looking car: RENAULT

Ugliest car: McLAREN…


@Tornillo Amarillo you do know that the Renault is only a livery showcar ?

Tornillo Amarillo

Yes, but I’m talking about looking… 🙂


The only aesthetically pleasing element on the Ferrari is the halo.

Nevertheless, I really wish it wasn’t there.


Disagree, Alfa looks better – and it’s not even in my favourite Neapolitan cake livery…………..

Having a bit of contrast always makes any livery look better – Black and Gold on the Lotus 79, the white and blue of Williams and now the Strawberries and Cream of Alfa.

All red looks a bit like giant Chinese flag on wheels………


So according to James its ugly. Ugly usually means functional which usually means fast.

So an ugly car my ght win the championship this year.


@Marius. JA sees it ugly not for any reason but ‘cuz not made in England.


Either is a Torro Rosso, Sauber or Haase.

Do you think that maybe James called it ugly because it is?


Come off it Andretti. James is no homer, and appreciates the place that Ferrari holds in the sport.

Might the simpler explanation be that he actually found the Ferrari halo uglier? Personally I think it looks worst on the Mercedes, but this is like choosing the least rotten apple.


sir, you are slighting a man who’s reputation for fair-minded and un-biased reporting is peerless. lay off James, pal!


You are going to have a hard time convincing me that Mr. Allen has some kind of personal bias against Ferrari in light of the fact that he wrote an excellent biography of Ferrari’s most famous driver, and also named his son after Ferrari founder Enzo.


It’s almost pointless discussing the aesthetics of the halo, as no matter what colour it is, it’s ugly. So ignoring that, I’m liking this year’s Ferrari, especially as it’s almost 100% red. Not sure if it’s just the lighting, but is it a slightly darker red too?

Other than that, all the cars are suffering from the stunted fin (just get rid of it entirely and give us a lovely swooping curve of engine cover) and the proboscis on the tip of the nose. I almost typed “nose cone”, but of course the front of the cars haven’t been shaped that way for a while (which for me is a shame).


As for the new Ferrari, Terruzzi said the tone of red is expected to be darker, thanks in part to the departure of sponsor Santander.

He said the 2018 livery, to also feature less white, is similar to the shade of red seen on the 312 car of 1969.


Bye bye Santander, but could the less white mean Ferrari are finally starting to run out of Marlboro money?


Has anyone done a comparison of the cars run so far on their filming day or do we really have to wait till Monday to have any sense of the cars? Excited for the new season already and hoping for a little more balance atleast among last years top three teams.


I disagree about the halo – Ferrari’s version seems to me the best integrated one so far.

I have always felt that the halo is in any case far less ugly than the rear fins that appeared last year. I had understood that these would be banned for 2018, but it appears that smaller versions are still permitted, even though most designers are painting them a different colour to try to disguise them. They are still very ugly though and, all in all, the rear end of the Ferrari looks particularly inelegant to me, and by comparison the halo is a much smaller blemish on the looks of the car.


I don’t mind how the cars look this year l must say. Sure they would look even better without the halo but it is what it is so l will live with it. As long as the cars are fast and we have great racing, they could drive the ugliest car around l would not care. I particulary like the Sauber and the toro Rosso so far and of course this gorgeous Ferrari. Marc


That’s the problem people assume halo is just appalling aesthetically. It also adds significant weight to the cars which are already overweight and on track to morbid obesity at the current rate. The center of gravity is significantly higher and the handling is reduced further. F1 was the pinnacle of motorsport because it was a purpose build racecar with the minimal amount of weight/ necessary components to race. The drivers sits on the track for a reason, to be as low as possible. I wouldn’t be surprised if they introduce a new regulation to increase the height underneath the cars for the safety of drivers to prevent a Kimi in Singapore’13 incident. After all if it can save one drivers back then its worth it init. The DNA is being lost its no longer a go kart with a racing engine attached to the back and suspension. The trend seems to be more road car like. No one talks about power to weight ratio. Yeah they might be close to 1000HP but the weight went up as well so don’t think the cars will get much faster if at all unless the tires can make up the difference. I wouldn’t hold my breath on fast cars and great racing. Look at the promise of Max v Lewis v Vettel in Mexico all over in first two corners instead of laps of battling between them dicing for the lead all taking the lead at one point.


I love this time of the year when all of us can dream that the team we favor built a championship car. Next week will give us a bit more of a window opening on where each team is a the present but we will have to wait another month or so to get a clearer picture. I hope that Ferrari will have a great all-around package finally and that they can give Mercedes a great fight. Hopefully Red Bull will be there as well for a three way season long battle. Marc


Of the new cars. The Mclaren looks the best then the Ferrari (even with the halo). The rest of the cars are below par. Too much black on all the cars. Even the Mercedes is going to a dark silver. They should move to a chrome look that Mclaren pulled off so well!

I said it before I miss the colour of the mid 00’s. Unfortunately teams paint the wings and barge boards black so other teams cannot see all the detail.


Everybody in F1 is complaining that the sound is not exciting enough and the halo is ugly but the teams cannot be bothered to even give the cars a decent paint job, apart of Red bull. Now we’ve also seen the Mclaren, it is the dullest thing in F1 since the introduction of advertisement in the seventies or so. I know they have no title sponsor but they could at least try to make the car look nice. The Ferrari is also more or less a solid color. They don’t do that even to their road cars any more. I was so looking forward to see the Sauber and it looks like they spent exactly 5 minutes deciding how to paint it. Come on F1 teams, if you are so bothered by the aesthetics of the cars that you cannot say 2 sentences without spitting on the halo, you can at least spent more than 5 minutes on their paint job. Red bull is the only team that seems to have put some effort in it, and maybe Renault. Toro roso just cannot be bothered to change it.


The Red Bull livery is the worst looking one by far. Looks like it’s the primer and not the real paint.


I would like to say I am a bit disappointed with the halo. They tried hard to decorate it however it still looks like as sebee says like an puma slipper. I wish it won’t effect aerodynamics too much……… this season I feel more depends on engine than ever.


Posting after a long long time….

I’m quite surprised by James’ assertion that the Ferrari’s halo “looks particularly bad”.

On the contrary, I feel that’s the ONLY halo which has not been an eyesore.

All the other halo concepts seen so far, indeed makes one want to grab a chainsaw (as Toto Wolff pointed out) to do the needful.


So far, Redbull’s new livery probably stands out.

And sadly, they are mad enough, not to keep that livery. (Can you believe that !!)

So, what was the purpose of showcasing a one-off livery ?

I find it hard to digest the camouflage theory. If indeed livery can serve the purpose of camouflaging aero tricks so efficiently, then why not retain it for the entire year?..


I agree that this car is not as pretty as last year’s Ferrari. But I don’t believe that’s because of the halo.

The problem is that much larger piece of bodywork going rearwards from the air intake above the driver’s head.

It’s also the most interesting car we’ve seen thus far, with the clever use of the mirror housings, and the (gasp!) t-wing.

But pretty it ain’t. Unless it secures the championship, in which case loads of fans will have a scale model on their shelves and declare it to be one of the prettiest Ferraris ever


The problem is that much larger piece of bodywork going rearwards from the air intake above the driver’s head.

This is the Shark Fin, and, per the regulations, it is much smaller than last year’s were so i’m not sure what exactly you’re on about here.


Well Ferrari seems to be the only manufacturer who is not trying to hide their halo using a dark background or dim lightning. Surprisingly I like the halo on the Ferrari. Either that or I am already getting used to the halo.


Quite simply the best looking Ferrari of the Hybrid era. The halo looks well integrated and does not stand out very badly as a sore add on. But what really matters is whether it is fast enough to have moved ahead of the W09 EQ Power+, a car whose name is as long as it’s wheelbase 🙂



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