Ferrari is the first team to announce the launch date of its 2024 contender.
The wraps will come off the – yet to be designated chassis – on Tuesday 13 February, a week before pre-season testing gets underway in Bahrain.
Team boss, Frederic Vasseur revealed the date at the team’s annual Christmas media event.
“The launch will take place on the 13th of February, the day before Valentine’s Day,” he told attendees, “and then you will see the rest on that same day,” he added, referring to details such as the chassis name.
“We have the test a bit before and it’s quite a challenge to put everything together,” he continued. “It means we had no other option. I think also some other teams are doing it on the 14th, but it’s quite challenging to be ready for Bahrain.”
Despite the lack of rule changes, Ferrari, like Mercedes, is said to be opting for an all-new car, the Maranello outfit having been pipped to second in the team standings by its German rival.
With the team opting for an all-new car, the Frenchman was asked if the concept might be described as a “revolution”.
“I don’t know if it is the right word,” he replied. “We have the same regulations now three years in a row, you can’t change massively the situation.
“Again, it’s tenths of a second,” he continued, “it means that it’s 0.1 or 0.2 percent of performance that we are looking for.
“For sure, we have to do a step and I don’t underestimate this step,” he admitted. “We are changing 95% of the components of the car, perhaps you can consider that it’s a revolution, I don’t know if it will be.
“The expectation is that we are focused on ourselves, we are doing a good step forward but in the end it’s always a matter of comparison. “You can improve by 100, if the others are improving by 120 you will look stupid, if they are improving by 80 you will look like a mega-hero.
“The most important is to continue to push,” he admitted, “to continue to develop, to have the drivers into the middle of the project and they are fully involved in the development. So far we are going in the right direction.”
Pushed by members of the Italian media, Vasseur refused to build the Tifosi’s hopes by making promises he cannot keep.
“I don’t have to promise something,” he said. “The best way is to be focused on what we are doing to deliver. The Christmas gift for them will be if we’re able to do a good job in March, not for Christmas. On Christmas the gift is just based on promises and I don’t want to make promises. We’ll see in March if it will be the Easter gift.”