In Formula 1 every second counts. Every microsecond counts. In a sport where speed is of the essence, where the difference between pole position and last on the grid is less than two seconds, there is no improvement too small.
The challenge of excelling in F1 is the high performance standards found throughout the sport. For every team, for every man and woman working in Formula 1, the pursuit of excellence is an ongoing effort, and upgrades are brought to every race.
For the 2019 F1 season, Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow have taken this pursuit of excellence through small gains to the extreme, even selecting the car’s paint on the basis of its impact on speed and performance.
The SF90 was launched with a matte paint job a first in the racing team’s ninety year history.
This decision is a perfect example of Ferrari’s philosophy: the pursuit of improvement as an evolutionary process, eliminating the unnecessary in the hunt for the ultimate.
It's not a matter of looks, there is a technical reason why it is matte
Explained Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow Team Principal Mattia Binotto at the launch. "The weight is lower – we are talking about some hundreds of grams – but as we are pushing these technologies it made the difference. It's a matte finish and it makes the car lighter."
The winnowing philosophy extends throughout the SF90 design concept.
We focused on each detail and each single piece is different compared to last year and we tried to push our limits and raise the bar. We pushed the actual physical limits of the car, but also the key features of the new aerodynamics were conceived based on the new regulations, so it's not that easy now to revolutionize these cars in terms of aerodynamics.
"We have re-engineered many of the components in the car and the engine. It's a thinner car and even the roll hoop is thinner but we haven't increased the surface of the radiator, so this means that in terms of cooling we have worked so much. I think this is an important part of what was done with the rest of the aerodynamics in terms of improving the drivability of the car," said Binnotto.
Sebastian Vettel, now in his fifth year with the team, sees the team philosophy as integral.
The expectation is always there to win, and that’s what we all want, obviously, having come close some years, a bit further away some other years, but overall getting closer.
“Obviously there’s been a lot of change this year, with the new Team Principal, a new driver alongside me, but in both cases they are people that I know from the past, and I am looking forward to the future. We are still growing as a team, and hopefully we can use the momentum and make sure that we do the final step in order to be more competitive.”
The 2019 season will give Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow and the SF90 twenty-one opportunities to innovate, to test and to improve in their pursuit of the Championship.