Solving Key Issue Could Enable Ferrari to Compete with Red Bull in Tech Analysis

Charles Leclerc secured second place in qualifying sessions but struggled with tire performance and rear grip, while Red Bull’s RB20, praised for its engineering and aerodynamics, dominated the races, highlighting Ferrari’s need to improve to match Red Bull’s pace.

Highlights

‣ Charles Leclerc secured P2 in qualifying sessions but struggled with tyre performance, highlighting Ferrari’s inability to match Red Bull’s pace, particularly due to issues with waking up the tyres and a lack of rear grip.

‣ Red Bull’s RB20 is described as an engineering masterpiece, with a highly efficient aerodynamic package and mechanical design allowing for low ride height and high top speeds, contributing to its dominance in races.

‣ Ferrari’s conservative approach with a medium downforce rear wing and struggles with the new rear suspension system are identified as key factors in their lack of rear grip and difficulty in optimizing tyre performance.

‣ Despite Ferrari’s challenges, the SF-24 is recognized as a strong and drivable car, providing a good basis for development and positioning Ferrari as the primary challenger to Red Bull, with a significant gap to other competitors.


Charles Leclerc? Oh, he nailed P2 in the qualifiers. Twice, actually. Came pretty darn close to overtaking Max Verstappen too. But, when race day rolls around? Red Bull’s pace is just… out of this world. The Italian squad can’t even catch a glimpse of the Dutchman’s tail lights. And Sergio Perez? That guy’s been climbing the ranks in both Grands Prix like it’s nobody’s business.

Leclerc, though, he’s been having a bit of a tough time. Warming up his tyres in both the qualifiers and the race has been a struggle. Even with a beefier rear wing for more downforce. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it? Is this why Ferrari’s eating Red Bull’s dust in Saudi?

Now, let’s chat about the RB20. A masterpiece of engineering, if I do say so myself. Red Bull’s got the most well-rounded package on the grid. This car, it’s like it was kissed by an angel or something. It’s got downforce for days, especially in those fast, flowy corners of the first sector. And yet, it zooms down the straights like nobody’s business.

Adrian Newey and his crew, they’ve outdone themselves. They’ve got this car running so low, it practically hugs the ground. But no issues with stalling or anything. And the speed? Through the roof, thanks to its sleek design. The suspension’s a big deal too. It’s all about getting those tyres to work just right, no matter the weather. This car’s a beast in every aspect – aerodynamics, tyres, mechanics, engine. The competition’s got their work cut out for them, that’s for sure.

Saturday’s 1-2 finish was just the beginning. They tweaked the RB20 just a smidge for the circuit. Different rear and beam wings. The rear wing? It had this deep, spoon-like shape. But less dramatic than the one in Bahrain. And the beam wing? Pretty much the same as Bahrain’s. Both changes aimed at cutting down drag. Worked like a charm, keeping the car stable and speedy in all the right places.

Ferrari, on the other hand, seemed a bit hesitant. They stuck with the medium downforce rear wing from Bahrain. Thought it’d help their drivers get used to the track. But then, they didn’t switch to the low downforce one they brought along. Even after testing a single-element beam wing, they didn’t budge. Reduced drag, sure, but everyone was left scratching their heads.

Leclerc spilled the beans after qualifying. Tried something new with the soft tyres in Q3, but no dice. The whole weekend, Ferrari struggled with tyre temps and rear grip. That new rear suspension? Still a work in progress. They hoped the medium-downforce wing would help balance things out. Give them a bit more grip, especially in the first sector. Despite these challenges, the SF-24 showed promise. Bearman’s performance was a testament to that. A silver lining for Ferrari, hinting at potential for growth.

Ferrari’s got a solid foundation. A strong, drivable car puts them right behind Red Bull. And they’re leading the pack when it comes to their rivals. It’s clear they’ve been busy over the winter. So, even though the race was a bit on the dull side, it’s given us plenty to ponder. It’s all about figuring out how the other teams can bridge the gap to Red Bull. Here’s hoping for more thrills as the season progresses.

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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