New “extreme” version of Ferrari SF-24 already in the pipeline

Jaden Diaz
12 Mar, 2024

The Ferrari SF-24 was born with an excellent base, although not yet sufficient to beat Verstappen. However, great steps forward have been made compared to the inconsistent SF-23. In the first race, Carlos Sainz confirmed an improvement of 4 tenths relative to Red Bull compared to 12 months ago.

This figure can be trusted, given that Verstappen was managing the car in both races last year. Charles Leclerc’s podium performance in Jeddah also confirmed a similar deficit.

Ferrari begins 2024 as the second-fastest team. The Scuderia has shown both its strengths and the weaknesses it needs to improve.

In the Bahrain GP, Leclerc’s wheel corner problem affected his performance. At its height, the brake issue cost the 26-year-old six-tenths per lap.

There may be some untapped potential left in the car last weekend in Saudi Arabia. Ferrari felt there was a chance to put more pressure on Perez – a fairly attainable target, according to the Ferrari technicians.

Stronger foundations for 2024: Small updates in Suzuka, a significant revamp in Imola

Defining the current Maranello car as a “1.0” version is by no means a euphemism. From the first two rounds, this year’s car is far easier for Leclerc, Sainz and Bearman to drive.

Feedback from the drivers confirms the great work done over the winter to overturn last year’s limitations. The SF-24 and its “conventional” appearance did not generate much excitement in pre-season.

However, the wind tunnel results have been positive since the project’s first development tests. Ferrari now has a strong foundation they can build upon with confidence in 2024.

As expected, Red Bull has raised the bar further by transforming its concept once again. The other competitors have improved, but not enough. Ferrari, at least, has made meaningful progress.

Ferrari SF-24 compared to the SF-23 – Illustration Rosario Giuliana

“We already have some new parts,” said Vasseur after the race in Jeddah. In fact, there is already an “EVO version” of the SF-24 in the wind tunnel, more advanced than the current 1.0 version’s concept.

Some minor upgrades are expected for April. Meanwhile, the new team’s aerodynamic look will arrive in May. Unless the updates arrive earlier or later, they should be introduced in Imola.

This new look in Imola will feature new sidepods and a new floor. These evolutionary steps and interventions are aimed at building upon the good base obtained in winter.

The primary objective of this SF-24 has been largely achieved since the car is able to operate with a higher load.

However, there is still important work taking place to preserve the strengths from 2024.

Cooling input comparison of the Red Bull RB19 during 2023 – Illustration Rosario Giuliana

No major cooling issues, Ferrari’s radiator openings will be narrower and follow the path previously set by Red Bull

Hungary’s 2023 update of the RB19 (with increasingly thinner radiator mouths in favour of the undercut), is the direction many have taken this year.

Aston Martin, for example, has embraced a lot of the RB19 philosophy regarding cooling inputs.

Formu1a.uno sources clearly indicate that Ferrari will follow the development path that leads precisely in that direction.

This will include a larger breach and aggressive inlets, which are among the first developments due on the Ferrari SF-24.

Technically, this very first phase of the season confirmed to the engineers that there were no critical issues in cooling management despite more aggressive solutions in terms of the airbox design, especially when compared to Haas and Sauber.

In the wind tunnel, you can, therefore, try to push performance without facing last year’s cooling issues.

Authors: Giuliano Duchessa , Rosario Giuliana

Translation: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang

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