The assembly of Project 676 has begun at the specific department of the Ferrari Sporting Management a few days ago. Around the new chassis, the assembly of the first 2024 Ferrari car has started: a puzzle of small and large parts that should be completed at the beginning of February for the traditional “fire-up,” which is the activation of the power unit once the car is fully detailed.
The installation phase, especially of the first car, has been closely monitored as it allows discovering the assembly times of individual parts. The project, as announced by Fred Vasseur, has changed by 95% compared to the SF-23.
During the design phase, the chief designer, Fabio Montecchi, and his collaborators seek a solution that provides maximum performance and good intervention functionality, allowing quick replacements in the pit box if necessary. This is one of the reasons that led Enrico Cardile’s team to maintain the push rod suspension system at the front: having internal kinematics in the upper part allows mechanics to make all setup adjustments in much shorter times.
In the Scuderia’s schedule, there is the idea of taking the 676 to the dynamic bench around February 2 or 3, where the red car will undergo rigorous work cycles to verify its behavior. This is a cell where the entire car can be accommodated to initiate an important and sophisticated simulation plan.
A commitment of about ten days is planned, just in time to clear the red car for February 13, when Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz will take turns behind the wheel on the Fiorano track for the 15 kilometers authorized by the FIA for the “baptism” of an F1 car. As we have already emphasized, in Maranello, they have chosen to have a “cold” presentation: the launch will take place online, without media (neither television nor journalists) and without a show.
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In Maranello, they prefer substance over… theatrics, counting on letting the results speak. A grand presentation, instead, would have interrupted a feverish work plan: after the dynamic bench tests, there will be the shakedown on February 13, followed by the first filming day with the opportunity to evaluate the 676 in a 200 km session (double compared to the past), alternating commercial shots with the first real functional test with the two drivers who can each cover 33 laps.
The dynamic bench will provide the first important answers about the 2024 car: the vehicle will undergo endurance tests to verify the reliability of all systems even with changing pressures and temperatures. The technicians will have the opportunity to identify strengths and potential weaknesses in a season that will feature 24 Grand Prix races.
Ferrari seems to be aiming to set the longest championship in history with four power units, accepting the idea of incurring penalties in a race decided by the board, rather than allocating resources to extend the life of an engine that in 2023 successfully completed the challenge of 22 races without failures.