Ferrari Mimics Red Bull Strategy for Broader Technical Analysis Working Window

Ferrari unveiled their new SF-24 car with significant technical improvements aimed at widening the operating window, enhancing tire wear over race distances, and improving engine reliability, featuring changes like a Red Bull-style cooling inlet, a pull-rod rear suspension, and a redesigned engine cover, all to overcome the SF-23’s limitations and make the car more competitive across various circuits and conditions in the 2024 season.

Highlights

‣ Ferrari’s new SF-24 has been designed with a bigger operating window and improved tire wear over race distances, aiming to address the shortcomings of the SF-23 and extract maximum performance.

‣ Technical innovations include a Red Bull-style cooling inlet, a revised front to reduce understeer, a redesigned engine cover for better cooling and downforce, and modifications to the floor-edge wing and rear suspension to improve aerodynamics and stability.

‣ The SF-24 maintains a pull-rod rear suspension, a choice driven by the desire to build on the strengths of previous models in slow corners and traction, while introducing a completely new concept for the rest of the car based on driver feedback and the goal of making the car easier to drive across various circuits.

‣ Despite engine development being frozen, Ferrari focused on engine reliability to ensure performance across all races in 2024, reflecting a broader strategy to make the SF-24 competitive in a wide range of conditions and bring Ferrari back to multiple race victories.


Oh boy, did you see that? Ferrari just pulled the covers off their latest beast, the SF-24, right after dazzling us online. And let me tell you, it was quite the spectacle at the Fiorano Circuit. Carlos Sainz, bless him, spilled the beans in the usual chit-chat post-launch. He mentioned something about the SF-24 being a bit more forgiving, having a “bigger operating window” compared to its predecessors. Yet, it still clings to some of the “old-school” vibes, especially when you stack it up against the likes of Aston Martin.

Now, diving into the nitty-gritty, the Ferrari squad has been burning the midnight oil. They’ve been tweaking two major areas: making the car kinder to its tires over the long haul and ensuring the power unit doesn’t throw a tantrum. It’s all about stretching the performance envelope of the SF-24, learning from where the SF-23 might have tripped over its own feet.

### Red Bull-style cooling inlet
First glance at the SF-24, and bam, you notice the nose area’s had a bit of a facelift. It’s broader where it meets the second flap, ditching the narrower vibe of its predecessor (cue the green arrow). The flaps? Pretty much the same look, but those metallic “flow-diverter” supports? Gone. The front suspension sticks to its guns with the push-rod setup, but there’s a tweak in how the front arm of the upper triangle buddies up with the chassis. And there’s a bit of a tango between the two arms, potentially cutting down on the nose-dive action during a brake slam (yellow arrow and dotted line, picture two).

The cooling inlet and sidepods have gone through a bit of a transformation. The inlet’s got a deeper, more squared-off look, taking cues from the RB19. It’s all about sucking in more air (pink arrow, first photo). The sidepods? They’ve been scooped out at the bottom, creating this massive undercut that snakes along the sidepod’s lower edge. This was made possible by tucking the SIS right into the floor, freeing up some precious real estate.

The engine cover’s also had a bit of a makeover. It now sports two lengthy ducts (or “bazookas”), perfect for blasting hot air straight onto the beam wing. This not only helps keep things cool but also adds a bit of downforce into the mix (arrow and yellow line, first photo).

Peek at the second photo, and you’ll spot the floor-edge wing’s new curve. It’s leaning outwards a tad more, aiming to tackle the turbulence from the front wheels differently. And right near the halo, there’s this vertical profile hitched to it, acting as a sort of air shepherd, guiding the flow towards the back of the car.

All these tweaks at the front? They’re not just for show. Ferrari’s been wrestling with understeer, especially on tracks that demand a lot from the front tires. So, rejigging the front was a must, but it also meant the rest of the car needed a once-over to keep the aerodynamics and downforce in harmony.

### Only team to adopt a pull-rod rear suspension
Glancing at the rear, there’s a clear departure from the SF-23. The sidepods have ditched the “goldfish tank” look for sleeker water-slides on the SF-24. These slides channel a beefier airflow towards the beam wing and diffuser (green arrow). The engine cover’s tail end also got a revamp, featuring a singular, large opening aimed at the beam wing (purple arrow). And the rear wing? It’s got a new trick up its sleeve with a cut in the endplate transition, all in the name of efficiency with the DRS wide open (orange arrow).

The rear suspension sticks to its pull-rod roots, a choice that nods to Ferrari’s success in tight corners and traction over the past seasons. Despite the temptation to start fresh, the team opted to refine what they knew best, tweaking the gearbox and suspension kinematics for a more stable aero-mechanical platform.

Cardile, in a moment of reflection, shared, “With the SF-24, we aimed for a fresh start. Every inch of the car has been rethought, building on last year’s lessons. We’ve turned the drivers’ wishlists into reality, aiming for a ride that’s not just fast but a breeze to handle.” This echoes the team’s ambition to craft a car that’s not just a rocket on specific tracks or in perfect weather but a consistent performer across the F1 calendar.

And let’s not forget the engine. Despite the freeze on development, the team’s been hustling to ensure the SF-24’s heart can endure the season’s extended race calendar, as Enrico Gualteri pointed out. It’s about squeezing every ounce of performance from what they’ve got.

Wrapping up, the SF-24 is Ferrari’s answer to the challenges of the past, a blend of innovation and homage to its racing DNA. It’s a promise of a thrilling chase for the podium in 2024, with the team’s sights set on outpacing rivals and rewriting their story with every lap.

Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez is a senior writer at F1Highlights.com. With a passion for motorsports, Albert brings a unique perspective to the world of Formula One. With over five years of experience as a sports reporter, he has honed his skills in capturing the essence of the sport.

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