Piloted by Scuderia Ferrari’s youngest driver line-up since 1968, the SF21 was Ferrari’s competitor for the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season. In the hands of Monegasque racer Charles Leclerc and Spaniard Carlos Sainz, who between them averaged just 25 years and 3 days old at the first race of the season, the SF21 earned almost two and a half times as many points as the team scored in 2020.
The 67th single seater to originate from Maranello, the SF21 was a direct evolution of the previous year’s SF1000 chassis, as dictated by the new regulations after the COVID-19 pandemic prompted teams to agree to a series of cost-reducing measures in 2020, including a postponement of the new regulations until 2022 and a majority freeze of the current rules, thus limiting the opportunities for change in many areas.
Teams were permitted to use two development tokens for major upgrades, which Ferrari chose to focus at the tail end of the car, developing a new gearbox and rear suspension system. This, in addition to the unrestricted development on engines over the winter, led to a much tighter rear end over the previous SF1000.
The engineers were able to completely reinvent the layout of the SF21’s 065/6 1600cc V6 power unit, increasing its level of thermal efficiency and optimising the hybrid system and its electronics. Meanwhile, work outside aerodynamic development could still progress, allowing the team to make some minor changes to the rest of the car. Improvements were made to the cooling system, increasing the effectiveness of the central radiator, and the body was revised to create higher downwash. The SF21 also featured a revised front wing and new concept nose, while the team also updated the car’s transmission.
The SF21’s livery was also subtly updated, blending two shades of red for the 2021 car. At the rear was the burgundy red seen on the SF1000 at Ferrari’s 1000th Grand Prix, reminiscent of the burgundy red of the very first Ferrari, the 125 S. Further forward, it transformed into the modern Ferrari red that has adorned Ferraris in more recent years. Visually, the colours sought to point towards the challenges of the future, while not forgetting Ferrari’s unique roots and history.
The SF21 was a strong performer as Ferrari looked to bounce back after a hugely disappointing 2020 season. Sainz claimed an impressive four podiums throughout his debut season with the Scuderia, taking second position at the Monaco Grand Prix and third in Hungary, Russia and Abu Dhabi. Leclerc was the closest of the duo to winning a race in 2021, being overtaken by a charging Lewis Hamilton just two laps from the end of the British Grand Prix, instead earning his sole podium of the year.
Despite close rivals McLaren’s strong performances, the cool consistency of the SF21 and its driver duo saw Ferrari finish nigh on 50 points above the British team to convincingly take third in the Constructors’ Championship. Sainz and Leclerc only failed to finish in the top ten on six occasions between them whilst, as a team, Ferrari only failed to record points at one of the 22 races, at the French Grand Prix. The SF21 recorded just one retirement, which was due to a collision at the Hungarian Grand Prix, and one non-start: Leclerc’s car suffered driveshaft damage from crashing at the end of a tense qualifying session at the Monaco Grand Prix in Monaco. He initially claimed pole position, though sadly was unable to begin his home race.
Overall, the Ferrari SF21 earned five podiums, two fastest laps and scored 323.5 points, achieving third place in the Constructors’ Championship. Sainz and Leclerc recorded 164.5 and 159 points, earning fifth and seventh places in the Drivers’ Championships respectively.
This fine 1:18 scale model of the Ferrari SF21, as raced during the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season by Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, has been handcrafted and finished in our workshops with the co-operation and assistance of Scuderia Ferrari regarding original CAD data, finishes and paint codes. Furthermore, it has undergone detailed scrutiny by both engineering and design teams to ensure complete accuracy of representation.
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