F1: Ferrari unveil new race vehicle (4)

The new Ferrari F1 car model SF71H is seen in this handout

The new Ferrari F1 car model SF71H is seen in this handout

Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen insisted the new halo on Ferrari's 2018 vehicle would not hinder performance as the Italian stable chases a first Formula One title in a decade.

Vettel led the F1 drivers' standings until round 13 at the Italian Grand Prix previous year but his and Ferrari's title challenge fell apart during the Asian flyaway races due to a combination of driver error and mechanical breakdowns. "I think that's the answer we all want to get so we go from there".

Mercedes have claimed the drivers' and constructors' title in each of the past four seasons - finishing 146 points ahead of second-placed Ferrari in 2017 - but Vettel is optimistic ahead of the coming campaign.

Ferrari's new vehicle is painted in the traditional red livery, but unlike its predecessors with very little white.

"To stand here now is very special for all of us". "We maintained aggressive concepts", Binotto said.

Drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen said the auto was "beautiful" and they couldn't wait to start driving it.

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"The amount of effort that has gone in, the attention to detail in so many areas, it's impressive".

Mercedes are at Silverstone, where they are launching their W09 as part of a filming day during which world champion Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas will each drive the auto for the first time.

In an act of sportsmanship, the British-based team made sure reporters attending their event at Silverstone could watch the Ferrari unveiling on television screens during a break for lunch.

The new vehicle also features a protective halo device around the cockpit that is mandatory for all cars this season.

Mercedes are expected to have taken an evolutionary approach to the W09's design, although are determined to cure the negative characteristics of last year's vehicle which led team boss Toto Wolff to christen it a "diva". "The SF71H has a tighter vehicle body and has been built to perform in high-speed circuits", said Ferrari's technical director, Mattia Binotto.

"When it looks nice, the speed is also there". The halo-fitted SF-71H was presented at the team's headquarters in Maranello, four days before the start of pre-season testing at Barcelona.

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