Ferrari launches new SF15-T

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Ferrari has unveiled its 2015 Formula One car, the SF15-T, from its headquarters in Maranello. The car is a significant one for Formula One's oldest and most prestigious team as it marks the start of a new era under new management as well as coinciding with the arrival of four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel. The SF15-T is the first Ferrari to be fully designed under technical director James Allison and is also the first to be launched by under the new management of Maurizio Arrivabene as team principal and Sergio Marchionne as president. Both the car and the power unit will need to be a dramatic step forward if the Italian team is to close the gap to Mercedes at the front of the field, but the car looks certainly different to the 2014 with a new longer nose to conform to new regulations and tighter bodywork towards the rear. "The back of the car is something which is noticeably different to the 2014 car because we've been successful in pulling the bodywork much tighter to all the stuff underneath the skin," Allison said. "That's been done through a lot of work not only in the wind tunnel but also in the design part of the company to find radiator designs that were fundamentally more efficient. So for every square centimetre of radiator we are able to extract more cooling this year than last and able to close the car down at the back as a consequence." However, one area that remains the same is Ferrari's pull-rod front suspension, which is at odds with the rest of the field that (of the cars launched so far) run push-rod. It is a feature that is often picked up on in the media, but Allison said changing to push-rod suspension would not have provided any significant advantage and would have cost aero performance. "Every year you set out which areas of the car you should put your effort into to try to improve them," he explained. "These are decisions that need to be taken quite carefully because when you make a choice of working on one part of the car – because you don't have infinite resources – you are effectively making a choice not to work on another part. When you decide what to work on you have to pick quite carefully the areas that are going to give maximum return for your effort. "Push-rod or pull-rod on the front has pros and cons either side. A pull-rod is probably harder to get light and stiff, but it's probably a bit easier to get aerodynamic performance from, so it's swings and roundabouts. It's an area of the car that wasn't felt to be a problem on last year's car and therefore wasn't an area that merited investment of effort this time round on the SF15-T." Arrivabene said he could not yet comment on the performance of the car but believes it is at least "really sexy". "Enzo Ferrari said a long time ago that the best car is the winning car," the new boss said. "Last year we had an ugly car and it was a non-winning car on top of this. I like the car of this year in terms of aesthetics, I don't know about performance, but it's really sexy." Arrivabene has already set two wins at the team's target for 2015 and admits that dreaming of championship success would be setting the bar too high at this stage in the team's comeback. "I'm just realistic. Nobody has the magic to change things when things are unchangeable. The car was ready actually in December this year and we applied certain modifications that in our opinion are quite interesting. With that I don't want to say we are going to win the world championship, but for sure we are committed to win at least two races."