Back in 2018 I happened to host a Youtube-based series called Summer Break Spleen, whose literary meaning is the key to the purpose of my videos.
Breaks are not fun at all. The shortage of news, stories and content is overwhelmingly depressing, unless driver announcement happen and disruptively change the tone, break the monotony of the dull off-season routine. However, breaks are the best occasion for rumours to pop up out of nowhere. Needless to say, hype must be revived by generating actual talking points. The most frequent question F1 fans (and journalist as well) may ask themselves would be “What is the new car like?”.
Countless blends of creative assumptions, hopes and rumours usually cloud the winter break, especially when car launch dates get nearer.
A cryptic blog post by Italian journalist Leo Turrini, who is known for his access to inside information about Ferrari, fired up the press with approximative yet interesting bits.
Nomen omen? The Latins may well be right if the new car of the Prancing Horse was named “Purosangue” (=thoroughbred). If the features are on point and coherent with the name, that could potentially become one of Ferrari’s most accurate moves combining the commercial and the sporting aspects. Controversies have surrounded the name of Ferrari’s first SUV, which might be in jeopardy due to a no-profit organization bearing the same name.
The 671 project was rumoured to be on the backfoot as for the aero in the past few weeks, but it appears that progress has been made in the wind tunnel.
Moreover, Binotto appears to be convinced that power-unit-wise, Ferrari is not behind Mercedes and Honda. What does this mean? Nothing but the track has the right and the credibility to tell us.
The engineers in Maranello are working towards the construction of a rather simple car, with the aim of avoiding any sort of dramatic discrepancy in performance from a track to another. Hence, adaptability is going to be Ferrari’s keyword for 2020 and, if everything falls into place, all minor changes applied to the 2019 car through the new project will produce significant results.
Turrini also mentioned that the relationship between the drivers happens to be not as tense as it was in 2019, but warned that “there’s always something brewing” underneath the surface. That is basically an almost certain prelude to an utter nightmare. Vettel and Leclerc’s turbulent relationship culminated in Brazil as they collided and took each other out of the race. How did their coexistence go on? The two have spent a limited amount of time together since the end of the season, therefore there is no guarantee that their behaviour towards one another will become idyllic in 2020. Especially when a supposedly fixed ierarchy between the drivers is not defined.
These are just bits of rumours circulating as Ferrari’s car launch gets closer. As per usual, Italian media outlets are emphasizing just a few key aspects of the work done in Maranello over the winter, often providing the audience with inaccurate and partly made-up information. A light-hearted approach is going to save millions of hearts from breaking if reality does not match their high expectations, possibly created by overhyping certain strengths of the car.