Defining Ferrari’s competitiveness on January 2nd is not possible. Those who do so are lying to themselves, as well as to the readers. Project 676 is in the final stages, and as such, maximum confidentiality surrounds the Ferrari Racing Division. Moreover, as everyone knows, simulating the competitiveness of a brand-new race car is not possible. Despite the astonishing capabilities of today’s tools, some parameters are impossible to evaluate even for the calculators.
For this reason, until we see Maranello’s latest car on the track, making predictions remains a very challenging task. It is challenging for the technicians and engineers themselves, who have a vast amount of information in front of them, let alone for the mass media. Therefore, it is much more factual to try to understand how the Prancing Horse intends to make a clear comeback. We have discussed this on our website several times.
Today, we want to focus on a crucial aspect of modern F1, tainted by money concerning the need to have as many races as possible. Many races with different layouts increase the need to possess a crucial characteristic: versatility. A car capable of adapting to every track, always or almost always offering its best version. A winning distinctive trait for the new generation wing cars.
Red Bull arrived at this understanding before others. Beyond the chosen technical approach, Adrian Newey and his highly prepared team were very foresighted in anticipating the aforementioned issue. It undoubtedly took time to achieve the goal. This was not the case in 2022. While in the 2023 Formula 1 season, the flexibility of the RB19 seemed truly monstrous, not considering the intrinsic value of the Austrian cars.
Ferrari has worked extensively on this point: shaping an F1 car with a wide setup window. A sort of aeromechanical “all-terrain” work of art, capable of performing at its maximum potential always and in any circumstance. It’s a perspective, a future vision to be anticipated during the design phase. In doing so, however, one must not make a fatal mistake: correcting a problem by creating others. The SF-23 is the perfect example of what has just been said.
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The flood of feedback collected in the last season has built a clear know-how in Ferrari. A technical baggage from which the fixed points of the 2024 red edition have emerged. One of these, precisely, concerns the “ease” in setting up the car. A significantly larger tuning window to exploit its strengths. We are talking about a quality that drivers appreciate greatly, as they can seek that essential “driving comfort” to perform at their best every weekend.
It remains to be seen, in the final analysis, whether the Italian technicians will truly be able to provide the new red car with this important characteristic. The fact that the 2024 Ferrari Formula 1 car will be completely different in terms of setup, almost born from a blank sheet, undoubtedly allowed the engineers to design it as they saw fit. Will it be enough?