Ferrari is not confirming reports about its intended launch plans for the 2016-specification car.
Citing Italian sources, the Finnish newspaper Ilta Sanomat said this week that the car will be revealed publicly on the internet on 19 or 20 February, a couple of days before the start of winter testing in Spain.
“So far,” said Ferrari spokesman Alberto Antonini, “nothing has been decided in terms of the presentation.
“Anything beyond that is speculation,” he told German-language Speed Week.
Italy’s well-connected Omnicorse publication agrees, saying that while the first monocoque is ready for FIA crash testing, sources insist that because Ferrari is pushing its deadlines to the limit, a precise launch date is not yet set.
What has emerged in recent days, however, is that work on Ferrari’s 2016 car was delayed late last season due to the continued development of the 2015 car.
But Dominic Harlow, a former senior engineer with Williams and Force India, played down the likely impact of the Ferrari delay.
“The knock-on effects would simply be what state of development the car is in at the first and second test and at the first race”, he told the blog of the F1 commentator James Allen.
“Things that can sometimes happen with a late start is that you end up with a slightly less evolved car at the first race and then a more developed car when you get back to Europe after the flyaways”, Harlow added.
Indeed, the delay has not deterred president Sergio Marchionne from targeting the 2016 title, nor Sebastian Vettel from dreaming about winning the world championship in red.
“To win with Ferrari is something special,” the German told Auto Bild. “That’s why I now want to find out how it feels to be with them to win a championship.”