Sebastian Vettel says things feel 'different' at Ferrari in F1 2019
Vettel, Leclerc and Binotto speak to Sky F1's Simon Lazenby in Italy
By Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 16/02/19 10:23am
Sebastian Vettel says he is excited by Ferrari's new era and claims things feel "different" as the team prepare to launch their F1 2019 title bid.
The Scuderia held a glitzy ceremony in Maranello on Friday to both unveil their car, the striking SF90, and their new arrivals. Following two agonising world championship defeats to Mercedes, Ferrari have turned to a vibrant young driver in Charles Leclerc to accompany Vettel and Mattia Binotto as their new team principal.
While all three insisted this was not a "revolution", claiming the new-look outfit would be aiming to build on the improvements of the previous two seasons, Vettel also admitted he has been impressed by the changes.
"I think people can start to sense things are different," he told Sky Sports F1's Simon Lazenby. "The atmosphere is good, and I think things are moving in the right way.
"Mattia is in charge of the team but it's not one person alone that is running a team, we have a lot of people working to build these two cars.
"For me it is an honour to drive one of them and we will do our upmost to make sure we finish as high up as we can."
Ferrari aim to 'raise the bar'
Vettel, a four-time world champion, will spearhead the team's title bid this season, and is aiming to bounce back from a disappointing second half of the 2018 campaign which was marred by individual errors.
He added: "I think the team is on the right path and hopefully we can continue improving."
But there were also mistakes behind the scenes from the sport's most illustrious outfit, something Binotto, who takes over the reigns from Maurizio Arrivabene, is looking to rectify.
"We got really good achievements in 2018 and it's a development of last year's car," he explained. "It's not a revolution. We tried to push again to raise the bar and tried to be as extreme as we could."
They also have huge competition in Mercedes, the team who are looking to break Ferrari's own record by claiming six successive driver and constructor championships.
And Binotto also conceded Ferrari aren't completely happy with their car ahead of the two weeks of winter testing, which starts on Monday in Barcelona.
"Testing is in a week's time but Australia is in 27 days so there is still plenty of time," he said. "We are not ready yet, but there is still time left.
"It will be very intensive, hard work but we are all focused and it makes it very exciting to start."
Leclerc's momentous day
Leclerc has become the second youngest Ferrari driver in their long history and was emotional after his first official day in the office, paying tribute to two hugely important figures in his life.
"It made me feel extremely proud," he told Sky F1. "It also made me think of some people who are up there and helped me massively to reach some goals who are no longer here, who are my father and Jules Bianchi.
"Both of them have helped me to massively grow as a driver and I wouldn't have had this opportunity without them. It's been a very emotional day, it's a dream come true. "
He added: "It is going to be very exciting and I can learn a lot from [Sebastian]."
Binotto on what Ferrari means to him
"I am proud of our team, proud of leading such a strong team.
"Being Ferrari is something unique. We stand out. Being Ferrari means passion, being Ferrari means stamina, determination, sense of belonging, integrity, courage, competition, excellence, and I believe this list can be endless.
Being Ferrari is tradition, we have been there for 90 years and we are so proud and we have a duty that this long-lasting tradition still lives today.
"It's a duty that turns into a mission for all of us."
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