Ferrari encouraged by early SF-24 mileage in Fiorano

19 Feb, 2024

The new Ferrari SF-24 completed a filming day in Fiorano. Technical Director Enrico Cardile confirms that the configuration used was “exactly the same” as what will feature in Bahrain testing. In the meantime, a new “updated” aerial look is already in the tunnel – different to the specification to debut at the Sakhir circuit.

Most likely, this new part could be introduced when the European races begin. With several variables to consider, initial comparison work between different engine covers is not surprising.

The unchanged technical regulations allow us to carry out comparisons with a certain solidity, and there was immediately something interesting to notice when thinking about the old car.

The second hood specification, however, should not be the priority solution during the season. Instead, the specification with the “cut” fin, as seen on the SF-23, will be the preferable version. 

The different bonnets tested on the Ferrari SF-24 in Fiorano – Illustration Rosario Giuliana

The SF-23 had largely inherited the wing specifications introduced by the F1-75. These specs debuted at Fiorano and Bahrain with the same medium-load wing used on the long straights in Canada and Silverstone. This was quite perplexing since Bahrain is a track that requires substantial load levels.

It was concluded very quickly after testing that the car did not have enough basic options to increase the load of the platform in a balanced way. Ferrari’s SF-24 was a car born with a significant aerodynamic imbalance – because it could not afford to add downforce to the rear without generating massive understeer.

Comparison of rear wings used by the single and double pylon SF-23 – Illustration Rosario Giuliana

The debut of the SF-24 showed a completely new rear wing assembly, which in itself is never a given given the attempted crossover in times of budget cap. In the case of Ferrari, it was simply necessary, and it is not a negligible fact.  

Part of the development of this car was also to completely renovate the rear wing. The 2024 car already has a new rear wing with more downforce. And we are renewing practically the entire range we have accordingly.”

The old SF-23 was the best without DRS but too poor in terms of load.

The concept is also directly responsible for the effectiveness of the DRS. Maranello’s engineers now understand why Red Bull enjoyed such an advantage in this area last year. The visual result lies in the total design change of the rear axle.

It is clear how much the designers decided to focus on very smooth surfaces, albeit with a less extreme design.

Ferrari’s medium-load main plane is now less curved and more extended. Meanwhile, the double beam wing is totally reprofiled with a much larger surface and the other flat.

In essence, this aspect suggests that the front end will also finally offer more load. Perhaps – as Leclerc says – the car will not lose straight-line speed to find a new compromise.

However, it is absolutely vital that the DRS guarantees the required efficiency since it is possible that the SF-24 could have a slightly greater basic drag than the 23 due to bulkier wings.

The filming of the car at Fiorano was consistent in terms of checking and scanning the new parts and heights.

At the shake-down the engineers always run a program that has nothing to do with performance, they put the drivers in a bit of a crisis with aggressive set-up choices to understand the response together, the lap times are insignificant, rather it’s necessary first make sure that no macro errors emerge from the project.

When they are not there, then you can move forward with development; from this point of view, the car reacted positively.

A first fixed point is positive, the SF-24 will be able to mount grades of specifications more suited to tracks that require a medium-high load such as in Bahrain. It is reasonable to expect a car that controls wear much better and is much more neutral to broaden the drivers’ settings. We will know soon enough whether it will also be fast enough.

Authors: Giuliano Duchessa
Co-Author: Rosario Giuliana