While awaiting the official unveiling, Charles Leclerc has shared his initial impressions after testing the SF-24 on the simulator.
The Formula 1 car presentation by Ferrari has always been the pinnacle event among the unveilings of the single-seaters. The entire world focuses on what the Maranello’s red car will look like as it takes to the track for the season, and everyone gets lost in its aesthetics. However, the world of F1 is about speed, and its beauty remains the last of its details. While waiting for the shakedown and the tests in Bahrain, Leclerc talked about his first sensations after the SF-24 simulator test.
In a Formula 1 environment that is increasingly focused on racing and simultaneously limits on-track testing, difficulties emerge in preparing the single-seaters. This is an extremely complex organism with hundreds, if not thousands, of components that must work in perfect symbiosis. Foremost among them is the mechanics, with the suspensions and wheels being the only points of connection between the asphalt and the chassis. These must be designed to provide maximum sensitivity to the driver, yet simultaneously withstand the high loads generated by an F1 car. To achieve this goal, teams use the best available simulation systems on the market. Among these are CAD software, FEM, and even CFD, allowing the team to design components optimally directly from the computer.
However, despite being sophisticated systems, they provide sensations that will never be equivalent to those on the track. This is a fundamental aspect in Formula 1 since victories are achieved on the track, not in the simulator, but it is an almost obligatory choice for teams. For this reason, teams are increasingly dedicated to development through simulation software, currently the means that most faithfully replicates the sensations of the asphalt. In recent years, several teams have made investments to acquire the best available technology in this regard and transfer as much information as possible from the “computer” to the track.
It allows drivers to discover and learn about the new car even before seeing it on the track and driving it in reality. A highly complex process that incorporates all design parameters, suspension characteristics, aerodynamic load, and differential. Regarding the simulator, Charles Leclerc expressed himself to the British daily middle-market tabloid DailyMail about the initial sensations while driving the SF-24.
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“There are many question marks. Of course, we have driven the car, but then everything remains to be seen in reality, if everything corresponds to what we have experienced in the virtual world and in the simulator, which normally happens when everything goes well.” – the Monegasque driver concluded.
Charles Leclerc’s words are extremely cryptic but suggest a certain optimism for the upcoming Formula 1 season.