Ferrari 2023 season F1 Mid-Season Aerodynamic Breakthrough
© Xavi Bonilla / DPPI

Ferrari Achieves Significant Mid-Season Progress


Before kicking off the 2024 F1 season, the Scuderia Ferrari is not only prepared but also more motivated than ever. This heightened motivation follows the excellent results achieved in the latter part of the previous season. Recent successes have undeniably injected a fresh impetus into the team, positioning them favorably to approach this new campaign with confidence and ambition.

Ferrari Found Vital Tenths in Second Half: ‘Managed Limitations Better’. Enrico Cardile, Ferrari’s Technical Director, has elaborated on the team’s upward trajectory during the 2023 season. Despite not undergoing as dramatic a transformation as McLaren, the Italian squad stood out as the sole non-Red Bull outfit to clinch a Grand Prix victory in the latter half of the season. According to Cardile, the turning point came during the Zandvoort Grand Prix.

Ferrari’s 2023 Season

Midway through the 2023 season, Ferrari initiated a pivotal shift. The Scuderia introduced several upgrades to their SF-23, including new sidepods and a redesigned underbody. However, it took a few races for these modifications to yield the desired impact.

“The main distinction between our car and Red Bull’s was in the sidepod design,” Cardile explained to Auto, Motor und Sport, reflecting on their decision for new sidepods during the Spanish Grand Prix. “Ours were more voluminous compared to Red Bull’s. This was because we utilized part of the sidepod fairing to better manage the turbulence from the front tires. At the rear, we had to engage in specialized work to control the turbulent air.”

Cardile also detailed how the Ferrari chassis posed a challenge. “With our sidepod design, we didn’t need to construct a chassis that was V-shaped at the bottom. We positioned all control units beneath the radiators. Additionally, we set the crash structure at the bottom to the maximum permissible height. If you want to place control units on the floor, like Red Bull, our chassis design would be too limiting.”

Ferrari’s Insightful Zandvoort Aerodynamic Tests

While Ferrari now understands their focus areas for the 2024 season, the real insight, as Cardile notes, emerged in Zandvoort. “In Barcelona, where we introduced the new sidepods, we noticed unusual aerodynamic behavior in the car.

This issue initially subsided, only to reappear in Budapest. We developed several hypotheses regarding the cause of this inconsistency. Initially, we sought explanations through CFD and wind tunnel analysis. Subsequently, we planned to verify these through on-track experiments.”

Ferrari chose to conduct these tests at Zandvoort, as the circuit shares similarities with Barcelona and Budapest in terms of downforce and track surface.

“The tests provided greater clarity on why the car behaves as it does under certain conditions. From that point, we were better equipped to handle the limitations, understanding their origins and anticipating them more effectively.” These tests were instrumental in enabling the Scuderia to find the necessary tenths.

Ferrari’s 2024 Formula 1 Season

Ferrari is no ordinary team, and it shows in the way the racing outfit celebrates the unveiling of its new cars and reviews its year-end performance – all done with a touch of style. It’s not just a routine program. The distinctiveness of the oldest Formula 1 team becomes evident from the fact that the presentation date and the car’s name are closely guarded secrets, gradually revealed over time. It has already been unveiled: the Ferrari 2024 will be presented on February 13.

Before that, Ferrari took a moment to reflect on its own, marking its 74th GP season since 1950. Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur and Technical Director Enrico Cardile have been notably candid yet confident. Both acknowledge the mistakes made but also emphasize Ferrari’s ability to turn the tide in the middle of the season, with all the ingredients in place to once again warm the hearts of the Tifosi in 2024.

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