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Ferrari's 2024 Leap From Tire Woes to Podium Glows

Ferrari’s 2024 Leap: From Tire Woes to Podium Glows

09/04/2024

In 2024, Ferrari has transformed its tire management, securing podium finishes and showcasing strategic mastery in the Grand Prix races.

In 2024, Scuderia has maintained its speed for a single lap and – good news – has also improved its management of Pirelli tires on Sundays.

This means Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc can push harder in Grand Prix races without worrying about depleting their tire resources.

The last Grand Prix in Japan showcased this improvement, for instance, Charles Leclerc’s offbeat strategy, which would have been impossible last year (one-stop strategy).

While Red Bull still holds a clear advantage in race pace, Ferrari has not missed the podium in 2024… and has already clinched a race victory thanks to Carlos Sainz.

Fred Vasseur, the team principal, is therefore smiling: for Ferrari, the start of the season is ideal, far from the controversies of recent years.

“Honestly, I think everything went very well on Sunday. The strategy was right for both cars, depending on their position on the track.”

“Tire management was under control, the pit stops went smoothly, and the pace was good. I am convinced we had a good Sunday.”

“If we need to change anything, it’s more about improving Saturday than Sunday. But it was good work and a good team effort.”

On both medium and hard tires, Charles Leclerc managed to conserve his tires to climb from 8th to 4th place.

Fred Vasseur praised the bold gamble his team took, sticking to a one-stop strategy despite a long second stint (27 laps on hard tires).

“Yes, everything went well with both sets of tires.”

“The final stint was something like 30 laps on hard tires, and it was quite ambitious, looking at what Mercedes did.”

“But honestly, we had very, very low degradation, and I don’t know if we could have done 20 more laps, but I don’t think so.”

“It was still under control, and we had the option to extend our stints a bit, but it was more a matter of tire management, position management, etc.”

Another very positive sign for Ferrari and Fred Vasseur regarding tire management: Carlos Sainz nearly set the fastest lap at the end of the race on worn hard tires!

“Since the start of the season, we’ve been much better at managing and degrading tires.”

“We managed to set the fastest lap in Jeddah and in Melbourne on the last lap. It was almost the case in Suzuka by a tenth, I think.”

“We’ve made a significant step forward. We’ve worked a lot on our weaknesses and have greatly improved in terms of tire management, drivers, strategy, and team.”

“But now we have other weaknesses, and we need to improve elsewhere if we want to do a better job.”

However, Fred Vasseur fears this issue with Pirelli tire degradation could re-emerge throughout the season. Perhaps as soon as the next Grand Prix in China?

“This problem is now well managed… but what’s true one day may not be the next when it comes to tire management.”

“We can’t assume it’s resolved. Next week, in China, we’ll have a different tarmac, different weather conditions, and it will be a new challenge. The conditions will be colder.”

Does Ferrari fear the heat more than Red Bull?

Speaking of track temperatures, the higher mercury levels during the Suzuka race did not disturb Red Bull or Ferrari in their tire management.

But would cooler conditions have favored Ferrari, according to Fred Vasseur?

“I don’t know because we only had the FP3 in cooler conditions. I’m not sure we would have been in better shape. You never know about engine settings, fuel levels, etc.”

“The degradation was under control for us on Saturday but also for them, Red Bull. The degradation was almost the same for both our teams this Sunday.”

Ferrari’s 2024 Leap From Tire Woes to Podium Glows. Ferrari’s 2024 Leap From Tire Woes to Podium Glows

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