Ferrari bring update to Monaco, more upgrades in Silverstone

Giuliano Duchessa, Jaden Diaz

At Imola, Max Verstappen won his fifth race out of seven contested, extending his lead in the drivers’ standings. However, it was not so easy to beat his rivals. The pressure of the competition is increasing, unlike at the beginning of the season, the Red Bull package could not allow itself any defects. McLaren and Ferrari have become significantly closer with the latest developments, and the Dutchman has responded by implementing an important difference in tactical management.

In the first stint, he could surgically attack the track in the most complicated sections for the RB20. Verstappen stopped on the infringement ravine due to track limits, however he was able to quickly take that margin by taking advantage of the settings tailored for the medium tyres, a decisive quality for repelling the final assault of Norris’s excellent McLaren.

Ferrari recovered another 2 and a half tenths from Red Bull

The debut of the SF-24 2.0 in Imola was more positive than the result. Those who were disappointed were hoping for a miracle. In Maranello, they believe a full understanding of the new package will arrive between Montreal and Barcelona. Meanwhile, heading into Monaco, Leclerc has passed Perez in the drivers’ standings. None of the three cars were perfect.

On balance, Ferrari lost their home race by missing the front row on Saturday. However, the race for victory is now decided by hundredths, not tenths. As the data shows, Ferrari’s gap to Red Bull has dropped significantly compared to Bahrain, not to mention the end of 2023.

Looking instead at the average delay of the first six races, we see that Ferrari responded well to the rapid updates from the competition, in the race better than in qualifying, a weak point to work on. The engineers are developing the next upgrades around two central themes: improving load quality, putting heat into their tyres for qualifying and increasing straight-line efficiency.

Leclerc and Sainz still struggled at the start on the medium tyres. They lost 1 tenth on the straight and 1 tenth in the variationsLeclerc talked about hybrid management as a potential weakness, but there is also the broader issue of general efficiency.

The softer the tyre, the less stiffness the shoulder gives you. This increases harmful understeer if you haven’t set the right countermeasures. However, it is not a simple algorithm to crack. It can also be something in managing pressure. This also impacts overall balance.

On the second point, despite the update reducing its drag, the SF-24 ran seven races with a do-it-all rear wing. It is a clear sign that the aerodynamic platform remains stable as layouts change and is less dependent on the specification used.

However, progress is expected towards Silverstone as on some tracks, Red Bull and McLaren have an advantage ranging from 2 to 6 km/ h.

“We need to push for hundredths; we need at least three races to see how the car goes on more types of corners before bringing other updates,” said Vasseur.

Ferrari waited seven races to debut an update that has changed their development trajectory. The new parts will arrive in steps. Ferrari will bring upgrades in stages – unlike what McLaren, Aston, Mercedes and partly Red Bull are doing.

Diego Tordi’s aerodynamicists are deliberating the second package scheduled forSilverstone. These new parts should eliminate the team’s existing problems.

In the meantime, Monaco is just around the corner, where what has been missing so far will be needed. In Monaco, a new high-load rear wing specification and DRS device will be introduced on the SF-24 2.0.