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Ferrari's Consistency Push Boosting Driver Confidence - Jock Clear

Ferrari’s Consistency Push: Boosting Driver Confidence

18/05/2024

Ferrari targets improved consistency with SF-24 updates, aiming to enhance Leclerc and Sainz’s confidence and close the gap to Red Bull.

For its home race at Imola, Ferrari is eager to shine and is relying on the updates made to its SF-24 F1 car to continue closing the gap with Red Bull.

Jock Clear, the chief performance engineer at Scuderia Ferrari, provides his analysis of these updates:

“It’s clear you can see the changes, but we know they occur in key areas – around the floor, the rear tires, under the rear wing, all that kind of stuff. But we haven’t changed the direction of the car’s development. This update brings a slight shift in what we call the car’s weight. At certain speeds, the car will perform better, but at others, it probably won’t.”

Clear emphasized the importance of giving Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz a car they are confident in, which wasn’t the case last season.

“We’re always looking to reduce the balance window. We’re getting fewer balance changes in the corners, at entry, mid-corner, and exit: this generally results in a more consistent car, a car the driver is more confident in, allowing them to gain speed confidently. It makes the car a bit less aggressive, as we’ve mentioned several times. It’s just a bit more consistent overall.”

While the changes are visible, Clear explains that the modifications to the chassis are actually the result of developments happening elsewhere.

“The goal is to achieve better airflow around the rear wheels and in the diffuser area. And then, of course, to energize the rear wing. That’s what everyone is trying to do. This creates a generic downforce. But what you see aesthetically is probably just a cleanup and a result of that. Much of what you see on the top of the car is what you end up having to do once you focus on the key areas of development. We deliver where the aerodynamic influence is, and then we look at what happens elsewhere.”

Work on the 2026 engine “is starting to intensify.”

According to Enrico Gualtieri, Ferrari’s technical director of the power unit, it will take some time before determining whether these updates are working effectively.

“I’m an engine specialist, so I can’t really comment on the technical improvements. But I think it’s still early days anyway. We accomplished what we set out to do during Friday’s free practice sessions. Now, it’s a matter of conducting a thorough analysis of the data. Then we’ll see, and hopefully, we can build on these improvements later in the season.”

Gualtieri also discussed Ferrari’s progress on the 2026 engine regulations.

“Things are starting to intensify this month. It’s certain that 2024 will be the year when we need to have everything in place. We are continuing the development of every element and every component. So it’s becoming intense, enjoyable, and increasingly challenging because there’s a huge task ahead for us and all the other engine manufacturers. This year will be the one where everything needs to be set up to reach the validation phase in 2025.”

“It’s difficult to say what we’re doing on the test bench because I think everyone has a different program. We’re using certain components and units on the bench. But as I’ve said before, everything still needs to be assembled, and we will do that over the next few months.”

Ferrari's Consistency Push Boosting Driver Confidence - carlos sainz

Ferrari’s Consistency Push: Boosting Driver Confidence. Ferrari’s Consistency Push: Boosting Driver Confidence

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