The Ferrari Project 676 is currently a highly discussed topic. It couldn’t be otherwise considering that it symbolizes the desire for a comeback. However, this desire must not remain just that because beautiful words without corresponding actions are of little use. For this reason, Ferrari’s profile toward the competitive F1 campaign of 2024 is low. This approach is more than necessary to continue the learning curve without ambitious leaps that could disrupt the commitment made. In summary, this is the media objective of the Maranello team.
The unveiling of the red car will not be conducted in grand style, as far as we know. The presentation will start a day before Valentine’s Day, on February 13, 2024, where the latest aero-mechanical engineering work of the Italian team will provide the world with a first look at the car. We are talking about a single-seater that aims to amaze, being “different and correct,” with a technical approach more in line with the regulations governing the current wing car specifications.
The season that concluded with third place in the constructor’s standings, behind a Mercedes that managed to optimize the available material, beating Ferrari, highlighted a myriad of problems. Some were resolved during the championship, while others were impossible to correct due to the limits of the chassis. One of the peculiarities of the SF-23 was the inability to offer the same performance between qualifying and the race. With full tanks, everything became tremendously more difficult, and the gap to Red Bull increased inexorably.
This aspect has been thoroughly studied by aerodynamic experts because performing like the Red Bull RB19 or even better on Saturdays, only to lose at least half a second per lap on Sundays, is a role that the Italian team no longer intends to play. Such a frustrating status, being held back by various factors and not fully exploiting the car’s potential during the race, leaves a bitter taste. The optimism of the following Monday was of little use, as the situation repeated itself punctually in the next race weekend.
Ferrari, Project 676: Awareness of their capabilities matured in 2023
Solving a problem in F1 is no small feat, especially if the “ailment” suffered is difficult to identify. However, reaching the target does not seem in doubt. These are the pieces of information provided to us regarding Project 676. To have some sort of initial certainty about the facts, we will have to wait until January when several meetings within GES will serve to take stock of the situation before the final evaluation, which will only be obtained on the track. A series of technical focuses to at least define on paper the competitiveness of the new car. It is a matter of understanding, as Mattia Binotto would say, and undoubtedly, something more will be known on that occasion.
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Winning in the 2024 Formula One season seems like too high a demand for Scuderia Ferrari. This is considering an acclaimed fact: Red Bull, last season, deliberately held back part of its performance on many occasions. They did this to preserve the Austrian cars in terms of reliability, as it was not necessary at all to push the two RB19s to the limit to win. This aspect worries the competitors, especially when combined with the fact that this benefit remained usable until the end of the season, even though no updates arrived during the last months.
Nevertheless, the team principal of the red team tries to look at Project 676 with positivity. He does so remembering the recent past, where the “calm” approach to facing a difficult situation resulted in gradual improvement throughout the season. A dictum much appreciated by the management, which, according to information gathered by the editorial team of the Italian website FUnoanalisitecnica, is quite satisfied with the choice made by focusing on the manager from France. A decision that, after the departure of the Swiss-born engineer, seemed like a mere reinforcement to many.
On the contrary, the 55-year-old Frenchman has convinced. In his hands, the team showed a strong ability to react despite losing various key pieces in the team’s key roles. Being aware of the situation without panicking provided a clear self-assurance, essential to organize the climb back to the top. A lesson to be cherished for the coming year, where even in a hypothetical positive scenario, mental composure to manage an extremely important season for Ferrari must be present.
Source: Alessandro Arcari for FUnoanalisitecnica