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Ferrari focused on making 2024 F1 car easier to drive

Ferrari has placed a major emphasis on making its new 2024 Formula 1 car, the SF-24, more predictable and easier for Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz to drive.

Ferrari SF-24

Ferrari

The upgrades brought during 2023 carried a similar aim but after the summer break, in Zandvoort, Sainz and Leclerc still needed to split their car set-ups to refine the tricky handling.

A shift towards understeer thereafter favoured Sainz before late-season tweaks enabled Leclerc to score four pole positions and three podiums from the final six grands prix.

Ferrari wants to pick up immediately from that improved form as it starts the 2024 campaign.

A team statement read: “The design group, led by [chassis technical director] Enrico Cardile, aimed to give Charles and Carlos a car that is easy to drive and that reacts predictably, with as a starting point, the positive feeling the drivers had in the cockpit over the final few races of last season.”

Team principal Fred Vasseur said: “This year, we must start off where we left off at the end of last season, when we were consistent frontrunners, with a view to constantly improving in all areas.”

He added that Ferrari must be more clinical and effective with its race management and make “bold choices” as it aims to pressure runaway 2023 constructors’ champion Red Bull.

The SF-24 is also notable for its revised livery, which scales back on the exposed carbon fibre around the tailfin, rear wing main assembly and halo in favour of more white and yellow flashes – a nod to Ferrari’s other traditional racing colours and the 2023 Le Mans 24 Hours-winning 499P World Endurance Championship hypercar.

Watch: Ferrari SF-24 Presentation

Following his early simulator running, Leclerc further underlined the main emphasis with the car. He noted: “The SF-24 ought to be less sensitive and easier to drive and for us drivers that’s what you need in order to do well.

“I expect the car to be a step forward in several areas and from the impression I formed in the simulator I think we’re where we want to be.”

With Ferrari having moved away from its ground-effect ‘bathtub’-style sidepod solution from last year’s Spanish GP, the team promised a new car concept for this season.

Cardile clarified: “With the SF-24 we wanted to create a completely new platform and in fact, every area of the car has been redesigned, even if our starting point was the development direction we adopted last year and which saw us take a leap forward in terms of competitiveness in the final part of the season.

“We have taken on board what the drivers told us and turned those ideas into engineering reality, with the aim of giving them a car that’s easier to drive and therefore easier to get the most out of and push it to its limits.

“We did not set ourselves any design constraints other than that of delivering a strong and honest racing car, which can reproduce on the race track what we have seen in the wind tunnel.”

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