“We will change 95% of the components of the car, and saying it like this may seem like a revolution. But it’s not.” These are the words used by the Scuderia Ferrari’s team principal, Frédéric Vasseur, during the traditional Christmas lunch to discuss the 2024 car. Following a disappointing 2023 season that fell well below expectations, the new car, known as 676 (project code), aims to bring Ferrari back to consistently fight for pole positions and victories and, ideally, to compete against Red Bull for the championship until the last race.
Project 676, currently in an advanced stage of design and development, is reportedly ahead of schedule thanks to the early start by engineers. The production of its first components has begun, it has undergone initial crash tests at the ACI center in Bollate, and its power unit has been running on the engine department’s test bench for some time to refine hybrid mapping and management, as well as to enhance reliability.
The 676, as announced by Technical Director Enrico Cardile, will differ in concept from the SF-23 to overcome the limitations of the philosophy adopted in 2022 and repeated in 2023. However, according to the French team principal, it won’t be a complete revolution. These words suggest that, in addition to the known changes, there may be solutions on the 676 that continue the SF-23’s design.
Among the elements that might be retained on the 676, based on gathered information and logical assumptions, is the design of the nose and its connection to the front wing. The rounded shape and the nose’s attachment to the second flap of the wing instead of the main plane could continue, aiming to reduce the frontal area (even if only by a few centimeters), drag, and redirect airflow more cleanly through the slot between the main plane and the second flap, increasing downforce from the Venturi channels (which will likely be entirely revised). The front wing, following Ferrari’s philosophy, will continue to seek the outwash effect to move the flows outside the front tire.
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Another feature that might be retained, based on collected data and its proven effectiveness, is the triangular-shaped airbox. This functional choice aims to reduce the section and drag while efficiently directing airflow to the rear wing, maximizing its efficiency and downforce production. The compact size of the airbox is made possible by the effective cooling management of the power unit, which doesn’t require excessive air.
Finally, in the central area of the car, the technicians may reintroduce the controversial “bypass-duct.” Introduced last season, this feature allows the intake of air from the lower part of the car, under the sidepods, redirecting it to the upper area near the outlets on the engine cover. This maximizes the efficient expulsion of hot air produced by the power unit, energizing the airflow towards the rear beam-wing, benefiting downforce.”