Ferrari's Moment of Truth SF-24's Imola Performance 2024

Ferrari’s Crucial Test: Can Updates Dominate Imola?


Will Ferrari’s updated SF-24 outperform at Imola? The team faces a pivotal test this weekend.

The moment of truth is approaching for Ferrari: will the significant updates, spotted at Fiorano (see our article), prove satisfactory? Can they enable the Scuderia to emulate McLaren F1 and become the leading force on the grid this weekend at Imola?

Of course, this is the ambition of Fred Vasseur: at this home Grand Prix for the Scuderia, these three days will be particularly crucial for the rest of the year.

Fred Vasseur has not revealed much about the extent of these developments yet… but he certainly hopes the Reds will aim for victory this Sunday.

“After several races away from home, this weekend marks the beginning of the European part of the championship. The Grand Prix takes place at Imola, the circuit closest to our Maranello headquarters, named after our founder (Enzo Ferrari). It also marks a return to the usual format, with three free practice sessions, and that is why we have decided to introduce our first package of developments for the SF-24.”

“The weekend will therefore be very busy, as we will need to evaluate all the new parts while following the normal program for qualifying and race preparation.”

Fred Vasseur then makes an important clarification: the settings adopted will also define the performance of these developments.

“As usual, we can expect a very tight battle with our competitors, which means that good work tuning the car’s settings can be just as important as the gains the developments might bring.”

“After the cancellation of last season’s Imola race, we are pleased to be back and racing in front of our fans. We are confident that we can be competitive, fight at the front, and therefore hope to satisfy the tifosi.”

Imola, a moderate challenge for the V6?

While the developments certainly concern the chassis, and Imola is a rather twisty circuit, the performance of the Ferrari power unit will remain crucial in deciding the final competitiveness.

Nicola Mosconi, the track operations director for the Ferrari power unit, has precisely described the challenges posed by Imola from the perspective of the V6 hybrids.

“Imola is a circuit with moderate energy sensitivity, so it’s more or less halfway between the two extremes of Monaco and Spa-Francorchamps. There’s only one DRS zone on the main straight, and power unit energy deployment strategies must account for this to maximize overtaking chances and minimize the threat of being overtaken. Drivers use the kerbs quite aggressively here, particularly in the Acqua Minerali and the Variante Alta, so it’s essential to be in the right gear and on the perfect line to avoid reliability issues due to over-revving.”

“It’s an old-school circuit that undulates, with quite technical turns and braking points. Therefore, it’s important for the driver to feel comfortable right from the start, gaining confidence and thus finding the limits of the car. To achieve this, a reliable car and a strategy that addresses the driver’s needs from the outset are crucial. This is true everywhere, but even more so here.”

Like many members of the Scuderia, Mosconi will finally experience a home Grand Prix, as he studied in Bologna, the capital of Emilia-Romagna.

“Indeed, this is a home Grand Prix, since I live just 50 kilometers away. I earned my degree in Bologna and completed my thesis with Ferrari, then continued to work for the company. I initially worked on engine testing on test benches and gradually gained experience as an engine engineer in the test team. In 2013, I started working with our customer teams to whom we supplied engines, and from 2014, power units. A few years later, I joined the racing team, initially as an engine engineer for Kimi (Räikkönen) and then for Charles (Leclerc).”

Ferrari's Moment of Truth SF-24's Imola Performance 2024

Ferrari’s Moment of Truth: SF-24’s Imola Performance. Ferrari’s Moment of Truth: SF-24’s Imola Performance

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