Ferrari might have faced one of the most challenging years in their history in 2020, but it seems that the team's progression last year has led many of their home fans in Italy to feel much more optimistic about 2022.
Several Italian media outlets have reacted positively to how the squad's development of their new car is going, with the 2022 challenger set to be unveiled at a launch event on 17 February.
The fact that this particular date has been chosen has added to hopes; whilst 13 is seen as an unlucky number across much of the globe, the number 17 holds this reputation in Italy.
As such, Italian publication Autosprint is impressed by Ferrari's fearlessness in choosing this day.
"Ferrari doesn't even fear the number 17," the outlet wrote.
"The project that Ferrari is working on started two years ago. They passed the crash test back in December and several parts of the new car have already been tried by the Scuderia during the 2021 season.
"In addition, a new engine will be used next season, which will be mainly renewed in the combustion chambers. The new design gives the team a lot of confidence ahead of the 2022 season."
Ferrari's early development of 2022 car "could be an advantage"
Meanwhile, Italy's biggest sports newspaper, the Gazzetta dello Sport, has also given a positive take on Ferrari's chances for 2022, as well as their ability to cope with the engine freeze coming into effect.
"The new Ferrari car is almost ready and they will continue to work on improving the engine until the Bahrain Grand Prix," the publication stated.
"During the official start of the season in Bahrain the engine will be frozen until 2025. Therefore Ferrari are working very hard on an engine that already delivers the same amount of horsepower as last year.
"This is good news as the teams are obliged to use 10 percent biofuel, whereas in 2021 this was only 5.75 percent. That means the development has been good."
In addition, the newspaper argues that Ferrari's decision to focus on preparations for 2022 at an earlier stage than some other F1 teams could potentially offer them an edge.
"People at Ferrari have started developing the 2022 car early and that could be an advantage over Mercedes and Red Bull, who fought to the end for the world title in 2021.
"Yet that does not mean Ferrari will have an advantage. Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz have yet to see their new car.
"The car will only be ready at the end of this month. However, they both completed several sessions in the team's simulator in December."
Another contract for Sainz expected
The Corriere dello Sport reports that the Ferrari will soon be hitting the track after the team's launch event.
"Prior to the official test days in Barcelona, Ferrari will hold a film day at the Barcelona circuit on 22 February," it is stated.
"It will not be easy for the Scuderia to close the gap with the top, but they seem to have embarked on the right path in Maranello."
The publication is also expecting other developments soon, including an additional engine update and a contract extension for Sainz, who outscored Leclerc in 2021 to finish fifth in the World Championship.
"It is expected that at the end of February, after the test days in Barcelona, a final improvement will be made to the newly designed engine.
"In addition, it will probably be announced in the coming weeks that Sainz will extend his contract by two years, which means that the Ferrari drivers will both be linked to the Scuderia until 2024."
Ferrari beat rivals McLaren to P3 in the 2021 Constructors' Championship, marking a big step forward from their difficult 2020 season, a year that they ended down in sixth.
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