Enrico Cardile, the technical director of Ferrari, has recently revealed that the 2024 Ferrari Formula 1 car will be completely different from previous models, referring to the 2022 and 2023 projects that showed strong limitations in both design philosophy and, especially, in development. This statement marked a turning point for the Maranello-based company, which has finally recognized the need for a radical change in the design of its cars.
However, these words have sparked strong criticism from engineer Luigi Mazzola, who stated that Enrico Cardile’s statements “make no sense.” Luigi Mazzola argues that Ferrari should instead focus on the gradual development of critical areas, rather than a complete overhaul. The issues in the wind tunnel should have been identified, and step-by-step improvements and developments should have been made gradually, perhaps by introducing upgrades to this year’s car and then transferring them to the 2024 F1 project.
Nevertheless, it is important to emphasize that the reality of the racing world is highly constraining now. Choices in car development cannot be made freely, especially not in today’s times. Perhaps Luigi Mazzola was referring to the past, when testing was unrestricted, and Ferrari could even choose to run night shifts to test at Fiorano. But now the story is vastly different. Today, work is done indoors, using CFD and simulators, and hours are also limited (if one wants to consider “legality” and compliance with regulations and the budget cap).
Regarding Ferrari’s choice to release these statements now, Luigi Mazzola pointed out that it might be a calculated move to reduce external criticism and pressure. The implicit message seems to be: “Let us work in peace and stop bombarding us with criticism!”
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On this point, we strongly align with Luigi Mazzola’s thinking. The statement appears to have been meticulously planned both for the person delivering it (Enrico Cardile, in this case, someone who is rarely seen on camera and whose public perception is considerably higher due to his role and the fact that he normally doesn’t communicate certain things), as well as for the timing and purpose. We agree that the purpose was to avoid being “harassed by everyone” at this time of year when it’s objectively impossible to think about improving the car and results. Furthermore, the decision to make these statements might also indicate a clear and official departure from previous design approaches.
Ferrari seems to have made the bold decision to pursue a new direction. It will be interesting to see how things unfold in 2024 and whether the approach and design philosophy have been successful.