Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Why Ferrari bucked the trend with its F1 2024 suspension choice

Ferrari caused a surprise by sticking with a pull-rod rear suspension on its 2024 Formula 1 car, rather than adopting the push-rod idea of Red Bull.

Ferrari SF-24 gearbox detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

Giorgio Piola is the preeminent Formula 1 technical journalist. Born in Genoa, Italy, Giorgio has covered the F1 World Championship since 1969, producing thousands of illustrations that have been reproduced in the world’s most prestigious motor racing publications.

With rivals like Mercedes and Aston Martin switching over, it had been anticipated that the entire grid would follow suit – but Ferrari joined Haas and Williams in doing its own thing.

Haas is no surprise though, because it takes what is supplied by the Scuderia, while Williams chose to take last year’s arrangement from Mercedes as it saw an opportunity to work with a known and stable quantity while saving money.

But, while Ferrari did not make the pull-rod switch that many anticipated, that is not to say it did not make some interesting changes to its suspension to better suit the layout of its SF-24.

Ferrari SF-23 and SF-24 comparison

Ferrari SF-23 and SF-24 comparison

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Central to this are the alterations made to the length of the chassis (lengthened) and consequently the gearbox casing and rear crash structure (shortened) – to leave the car with approximately the same dimensions overall.

The pull-rod’s inboard position has been altered for 2024, which is likely not only a response to how the suspension performs from a mechanical perspective but also as a means to improve the region's aerodynamic output.

This is especially important when we consider that the team has changed to more of a downwash ramp sidepod solution, having utilised more of a halfway house approach when switching concepts in Spain last season.

Ferrari SF-24 rear supension
Ferrari SF-24 rear suspension

The position where the pull-rod intersects the bodywork is now much further rearward than before. This has given the designers more freedom to create the sloping sidepod bodywork and improve the passage of flow into the coke bottle region as a consequence.

There are also changes to the wishbone fairings, which - although subtle - have an impact on the airflow’s behaviour.

Meanwhile, the winglets and rear brake duct outlet have also been modified to take advantage of the changes around them, while also providing their own direct boost in performance.

McLaren MCL38 steering arm

McLaren MCL38 steering arm

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

McLaren is another team to have kept the overall DNA of its suspension arrangement, but also making changes to try to unlock more performance this season. 

It’s at the pull-rod front of the MCL38 where we have to pay attention this time, though, as the team has repositioned not only the suspension members but also the steering arms in an attempt to improve their aerodynamic output.

The steering arm now resides behind the rear leg of the lower wishbone (red arrow), rather than above and ahead of the front wishbone arm as it did on the MCL60 (inset, red arrow).

This has resulted in a repositioning of the inboard mounting points for the wishbone and pull-rod, with all of their fairings optimised to improve how the airflow behaves around them.

Meanwhile, the lead arm of the upper wishbone retains its high mounted status at the top of the chassis, and the wishbone’s rear leg has been placed much lower than in 2023.

This alteration will undoubtedly help provide more anti-dive tendencies but also provides a different passage for the airflow as it makes its journey towards the floor and sidepods aft of the fairing.

Watch: Explained: Mercedes Grabs Resta from Ferrari in F1 Staff Swoop

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Mazepin has EU sanctions lifted after court ruling
Next article Ben Sulayem cleared of wrongdoing after FIA investigation

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe