In Italy and across the world, anticipation about Ferrari’s new car for 2016 and a potential championship bid is building.
A five-day countdown at the Maranello team’s website has begun, with some speculating that the as-yet unnamed 2016 challenger will be unveiled on 18 January.
That, however, would be unlikely, given that official testing does not kick off for another five weeks.
But Ferrari has been named among the three teams that will test Pirelli’s wet tyres at Paul Ricard later this month.
However, only 2015-specification cars will be used.
“I don’t think I’ll do the test in January,” Kimi Raikkonen said just before Christmas. “After all, only older cars will be there.
“Fortunately I think we still have Esteban Gutierrez,” he told the Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat, referring to the 2015 Ferrari reserve and new Haas race driver.
It is interesting that Gutierrez might be used by Ferrari for the Paul Ricard test, as there have been rumours the Maranello team has benefitted from the collaboration with Haas as it pushes to make key car changes for 2016.
The front suspension of the 2016 Ferrari, for instance, has reportedly been completely overhauled, and Italy’s Autosprint magazine now claims that the rear of the car is also narrower.
The report also suggested Ferrari has re-arranged the layout of the Ferrari engine’s energy recovery systems for the new car, whose project codename is 667.
Another change, Autosprint claims, is the nose, with the rounded shape of 2015 giving way to a more Toro Rosso-style setup for the new season.