While teams have a chassis freeze, which means they have to race their current basic cars again, aerodynamic improvements are permitted and teams can spend two development tokens to make other changes.
In the early part of the year, Ferrari plans to hold a team launch, to introduce its management and driver line-up of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, but will not disclose its challenger for 2021 until just before it first runs on track.
Team principal, Mattia Binotto, clarified Ferrari's plans for the pre-season period, speakingto selected media from Maranello.
Binotto says, "We already decided the name of the car nex year, the car will be called SF21"
The team principal continues, "It’s a very simple name, because we believe that next year is a transition to 2022. So let's keep SF21 the name of the car. It will be certainly partially a frozen car, same chassis as 2020.
We will organize differently the unveiling of the car next year. We will organize first an event where we will present the team and our drivers to our fans, to our partners and to the journalists. But we may organize a second event, and that could be directly at Barcelona winter testing, where we will unveil the car. And that will be somehow done in a different [way].”
One of Ferrari's main hopes for success in 2021 is that the power deficit it suffered from this season will be solved by an all-new engine.
Binotto said that figures coming from the Maranello dyno facilities were promising, as he had confidence that next year Ferrari would not be left struggling with the worst engine.
Binotto adds, "I can confirm the engine is running well on the dyno, I think that in terms of performance, it progressed well. Significantly I think compared to what has been 2020. I think that we will be back to being competitive as a power unit. I think we will not be the worst in the field, and that is the feeling I got from the figures I've seen on the dyno. But I cannot know what the others are certainly doing, or how much they have progressed.”
Binotto also said the SF21 will fix a key weakness of being too draggy for this year's SF1000, with enhanced aerodynamic performance being a focal point for modifications.
Binotto's closing statement, "We try to do our best in order to address at least the weaknesses of the 2020 car for next year, In addressing the weaknesses, I mentioned the power unit more than once. But the drag of the car was very, very high in 2020. And I think that looking at the 2021 car, the drag has been somehow certainly addressed.”