Ferrari look to 2024 with optimism after a difficult season


This first part of the season has shown two sides of the same coin in Formula 1. Competetiveness and performance across the grid can chnge between Qualifying and the race. In fact, on the flying lap, there is a certain unity between the best cars and their pursuers.

However, when it comes to race pace and competitiveness on Saturday, there is one car above all that stands out with a great advantage over its competitors, and that is the Red Bull.

Ferrari, Aston Martin, Mercedes and now McLaren have all had peaks of competitiveness and threatened the RB19 for Pole Position. Unfortunately for them, Red Bull always has something in hand for Sunday – the gap between Austrian team and their pursuers is important.

Red Bull: The RB19 is impregnable in the race, especially combined with Verstappen

The Milton Keynes’ team has done a great job. The developments made during the season have done nothing but improve the important qualities that the car has inherited from the RB18. The big advantage is the consistency on the tyres, which is destroying the competition.

The greatest connoisseur of Red Bull secrets is Pierre Waché, about whom there is a bit of mystery. Technical director since 2018, he has extended his contract, but the new deadline is not known. This has fueled some rumours, referring to Ferrari, by some of his French colleagues.

The new Red Bull RB19 cooling inlets introduced in Hungary – Illustration Rosario Giuliana

The Verstappen – RB19 combination is worthy of the best packages ever seen in F1. The remaining races can be a test for opponents hoping to catch up, and it is possible. But Spa has shown that Verstappen can start from more or less any position on the grid, his closest rivals having 3 development packages behind.

In the box on account, Perez went through his storm, after all – like him – Gasly and Albon were sunk in due time. Everyone then showed they were great drivers, but Verstappen was never undermined.

The Mexican has now understood that he cannot be a challenger for Max; however, with greater serenity, he can develop his task and guide him consistently.

Mercedes’ run-up to Red Bull continues, together with Hamilton

There is a lot of work to recover ground, and it continuesThe engineers have transformed the base car closer to the trendy concept. Major interventions have been made to the sidepods, together with a new nose with revised front aerodynamics. Not to be underestimated is the clever modification to the front suspension.

There has been no miraculous improvement, but the recent changes to the W14 led to greater performance stability that offers a positive signal to the pilots.

Comparison between the bellies introduced in Monaco and those adopted in Belgium on the Mercedes W14 – Illustration Rosario Giuliana

Lewis Hamilton’s renewal is a bit slow in coming, but it will come because Hamilton is a Mercedes man. However, some time ago, he did not mind an interview with Elkann.

Aston Martin started with promise, but continue to regress

It is the current mystery, rather similar to what happened a year ago at Ferrari, but more brutal. The AMR23 immediately established itself as Red Bull’s best challenger. The car designed by Dan Fallows found a good 2” seconds compared to the old one, surprisingly.

The package brought to Spain did not give the desired results, starting a very expensive decline has been witnessed for some races. The most disturbing thing is that on tracks with opposing characteristics, there hasn’t been a strong reaction. It is not easy to hypothesize that it can return to second strength.

Ferrari: The goal is to win, but this takes time

The Italian outfit can be accused of many things, but a lack of ambition to win is not one of them. I’m not talking about Elkann or Vigna, but about the men and women who make GeS.
The problem is to create a way to succeed, and, yes, this is in the hands of the management.

How the SF-23 has changed after the Barcelona updates – Illustration Rosario Giuliana

2022 had started with important premises somehow maintained, so much so that a brace immediately arrived seasoned by Verstappen’s retirement.

It seems like a century ago, yet only a year ago, heading towards the summer break, Ferrari could have won in Hungary; there was no longer any talk of the world championship, but there was still a competition that seemed to be able to catch fire once it some problems were solved in Maranello.

The technicians were convinced that by working on its weak points, such as drag and reliability, the Rossa would have done its duty while considering the improvement of its main rivals.

However, the facts proved him wrong. The work in the factory was slowed down by the regulatory changes, a bit of lost time which contributed to complicated the choices.

The timing and the Cap budget prevented major modifications to be made to the chassis while the SF-23 was now running in the tunnel. The car never behaved in the race as it did in qualifying, creating stability and driveability problems for the drivers from corner to corner in the same stint.

Red Bull increased the lead by killing the competition, Mercedes didn’t do enough, and Aston Martin have regressed. The others couldn’t do more.

Despite the winter announcement, the top management had dismissed Binotto for the current season. Rightly or wrongly, the ball was passed to Fred Vasseur under Vigna’s initial close watch. The former TP Alfa Romeo struggled to find more independence, although many acknowledge that he entered with the right tact.

It is certainly a profile opposite to that of his predecessor, who was aware of every single problem. Vasseur doesn’t have many technical meetings and doesn’t go through men or all departments.

“If I often have to talk to the technicians, it means that we’re not doing a great job”, to put it the way he does. An approach that has its positive sides, as long as there are cohesive groups and certain tasks in the dominant positions.

Change in F1 always brings with it a transition period, whether short or long. It doesn’t matter how good the new ones are.

The bypasses on SF-23 are already scheduled for the end of September-October. After the shutdown, the efforts at the factory will all be aimed at the 2024 car, which will not be a carbon copy of the RB19 but will feature some of its own innovations. 

Given the current gap, the realistic goal is to return to compete for at least some victories. The modified regulations have favoured Red Bull. All those with a different concept are paying the consequences and working to fix it.

Even if it is not visible from the results on track, the intensity in Maranello is high, and the impasse at the beginning of the season has passed. Course changes in F1 are always slow.

Ferrari to change their Monza livery, as a tribute to their Le Man victory

F1 returns with back-to-back races in The Netherlands and Monza. The SF-23 will recall the 499P’s victory at Le Mans with a retouched livery. 

Technically it will be equipped – like last year – with a very specific configuration, including a new rear wing and updated software to implement the efficiency of the hybrid. Like many, we should expect a fresh power unit for the occasion.


The remains stagnant in August

There have been some wild rumours. Thinking of Elkann and Hamilton, who have similar visions, for example, on sustainability and fashion. That doesn’t change things, that Lewis remains a Mercedes man whose deal seems imminent.

With regard to the negotiations with the Ferrari drivers, first, we need to focus on the engineers, then define and strengthen the technical office towards 2025. But in the present, after a few difficult months in Maranello, they are back to pushing very hard.

For Vasseur, it is important to demonstrate with facts that he knows how to improve the current car towards a more satisfying 2024. Which consequently has its weight on the negotiations.

Author: Giuliano Duchess

Translation: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang