The upcoming Formula One season represents a significant change for Scuderia Ferrari. The new car will be the first under Fred Vasseur’s management and will feature several innovations compared to the SF-23. In Maranello, they are convinced that they have surpassed the limitations of the previous year’s car. The first wind tunnel tests appear to be yielding encouraging results, with the Ferrari 2024 seemingly gaining a significant amount of aerodynamic load.
Ferrari’s Changes for 2024
The project 676, the codename for the new Ferrari Formula 1 car, will have several differences from the SF-23. The new chassis will allow Maranello’s technicians to change the position of the radiating masses and electrical components. This should free up more space in the underfloor and thus ensure greater airflow to feed the floor. Additionally, the downwash sidepods, while not reaching the load generated by the “tubs” of the F1-75 and initially the SF-23, should offer greater development margins.
According to reports from formu1a.uno, these modifications to the Ferrari 2024 seem to be showing positive signs in the wind tunnel. There is talk of a red car that has found 30 load points compared to the specification of the Japanese Grand Prix. Ideally, this translates into a gain of about 4 tenths of a second. The good news is that this increase in load does not come with an increase in generated drag. Ferrari seems to have succeeded in improving the car’s efficiency.
Of course, these numbers should be taken with a grain of salt. What is seen in simulations, whether in the wind tunnel or CFD, is not necessarily what is observed on the track. For Ferrari, it will be crucial to see a correlation in the data once the car is in Bahrain for pre-season testing.
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The car’s performance is not solely determined by aerodynamics but depends on many other factors. It will be crucial to see if Maranello has found a way to stabilize the platform of the 676 project. This would ensure a more consistent aerodynamic map and thus reduce the car’s unpredictability. The new red car will also need to be less sensitive to the wind, another significant weakness in 2023.
We will see if there will be actual confirmation on the Ferrari 2024 car regarding what is being observed in the wind tunnel.