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Ferrari rejected Red Bull-style F1 suspension switch for own “innovation”

Ferrari did evaluate a switch to Red Bull-style push-rod rear suspension for its new SF-24 Formula 1 car, but rejected it in favour of its own “innovation”.

Ferrari SF-24 rear supension

Photo by: Ferrari

As part of a push by Red Bull’s rivals to close in on the world champion squad, a deep analysis has gone into the factors that helped make last year's RB20 so strong.

One area of interest has been its suspension layout, with its pull-rod front and push-rod rear suspension being viewed as key elements in delivering both good ride and improved aerodynamic performance.

The pull-rod front helps clear up airflow around the front tyre, while a push-rod rear offers opportunities in narrowing the gearbox and altering the floor shape to open up downforce-producing performance at the rear.

Mercedes joined the trend of switching to a push-rod rear for its new W15, but Ferrari has notably stuck to the pull-rod layout that it has used since the start of the new ground effect era.

The Maranello team’s technical director Enrico Cardile has explained that its choice is not due to it blindly ignoring what others have done though, because it did investigate the pros and cons of the push-rod layout at the rear.

ferrari-sf-24

ferrari-sf-24

Asked about the decision-making process to stick with the pull-rod, Cardile said: “We tested for a couple of years a push-rod suspension.

“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.”

Ferrari’s stance on the benefits of its pull-rod design is further enhanced by the fact that it believes its rear suspension for the 2024 car is quite innovative in its design.

As part of an effort to produce a shorter gearbox (the chassis is understood to be 5cm longer while the car’s overall length is the same), it has had to cleverly reorientate its suspension configuration.

As the above details in the main image show, the pull-rod element has been moved quite a bit further forward than last year in what is likely to be an attempt to improve compliance and increase anti-squat.

Its angle makes it much more closely aligned with the front leg of the lower wishbone, and set back from the front arm of the upper wishbone.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-24

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-24

Photo by: Ferrari

Speaking about the work that has gone on with the suspension, Cardile said: “The main differences compared to last year's car are on the rear, where the inboard suspension is differently located inside the gearbox.

“It is also a different concept which, for us at least, has been an innovation because it's a different way to manage the inboard suspension compared to what we did in the past.”

Cardile also emphasised that the team was committed to its suspension layout for the year and was not considering any other option.

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