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Ferrari could switch to Red Bull’s F1 suspension concept for Hamilton’s arrival

Ferrari’s acceptance that upgrades are bringing diminishing returns has prompted suggestions it may elect for a major change of direction with its 2025 Formula 1 car for Lewis Hamilton’s arrival.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-24

And in particular it could finally go down the route that world champion Red Bull has put to good use of having a pull-rod front suspension concept.

Ferrari has already managed to make significant progress this year with its SF-24, winning races and finding itself at a centre of a three-way fight with Red Bull and McLaren that could yet be for title glory.

But as teams get close to the limit of what is possible with the current rules set, it is getting ever harder to find the benefits that can make a difference in its battle for success.

A major development package it brought to the Imola Grand Prix delivered some good gains, while the next aero package is set for the British GP – having originally been scheduled for Hungary.

In the meantime, two more rear wings appear, after the high-load one that was run at Monaco. There will be a low drag version in Canada and then one that is best suited to medium speed circuits from Spain.

But the way that Ferrari is attacking improvements is changing, as team principal Fred Vasseur admitted this week that gains were much harder to realise.

“With the cost cap and the current regulation, you have to manage both sides and we will bring upgrades when we have something to bring,” he said.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-24

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-24

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

“What you have to keep in mind is that you have a kind of convergence of performance and the development rate is much lower than it was two years ago. It means that each time that someone is bringing an upgrade, and I think it's true for us, but it's true for everybody, the gain is smaller than it was two years ago, and this is normal.”

The diminishing returns, and Ferrari’s desire not to make the most of the momentum the team is getting now, has fuelled some talk that Ferrari could be ready to be more aggressive with changes to its 2025 car than it might perhaps have been expected to months ago.

Work has already begun on next year’s challenger, with Vasseur stating that there were three current projects underway at Maranello.

“Part of the team is working on the next updates that we will see during this season, and another is already focused on next year's single-seater,” he said. “We have already given the go-ahead to the 2025 car. Furthermore, work has already started some time ago on the 2026 power unit. With regards the chassis and aerodynamics, we can hypothesize a few concepts but nothing more given that there are no regulations yet.”

Speculation about the 2025 car has suggested that Ferrari could be willing to make some big changes with it, rather than go for a straight evolution of the SF-24 so that it did not waste any resources for the 2026 rules.

Sources have suggested that Ferrari’s designers have understood some key aspects that would deliver gains for the 2025 car and that may make a big difference in that tight fight with Red Bull and McLaren.

One area of interest is that, after years of doing its own thing, Ferrari could be poised for a switch to pull-rod front suspension – with an idea of getting ahead of the game on this aspect considering it would likely make the switch in 2026 anyway.

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-24

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-24

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Red Bull and McLaren already have this configuration, with the design clearly having aerodynamic advantages in improving airflow around the front of the car and critically for the venturi tunnels underneath.

Revising the suspension in such a way would require an all-new chassis, as there would be the need for new attachments to the suspension arms and movement of the internal mechanisms.

Any decision to change suspension could also open the door for a change of driver position too, which could help improve weight distribution as the squad seeks to find gains in any area it can.

Ferrari’s potential move towards a more Red Bull style of front suspension comes as the team continues its efforts to lure Adrian Newey on board to help provide input for its 2026 car, once he is released from his current contract at the start of next year.

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This year, Ferrari is alone in running a pull-rod rear suspension (customer team Haas takes its parts too), but is convinced there are no significant gains from having the push-rod concept other teams have in this area of the car.

Speaking earlier this year about why it did not copy other teams, Ferrari technical director Enrico Cardile said: “In reality, our rear suspension is a bit different in terms of top and lower wishbone distribution compared to a Red Bull one, to mention one team.

“We recorded good aero results moving towards this direction and when moving from pull-rod to push-rod, we didn't measure a big advantage to justify some compromise in terms of weight or compliance. So, from there, we evolved our suspension, keeping the same layout.”

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