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Suzuka's Challenge Ferrari's Test to Outdo Rivals

Suzuka’s Challenge: Ferrari’s Test to Outdo Rivals

03/04/2024

Following their dominant one-two finish in Australia, Ferrari sets sights on Suzuka, challenging for both car and driver, aiming to extend their winning streak.

Ferrari achieved a remarkable one-two finish in Australia, with Fred Vasseur looking to capitalize on this momentum in Japan this weekend. The Scuderia’s director anticipates a challenging weekend at Suzuka, a circuit demanding for the machinery, which will help push the SF-24 to new limits.

“We head to Japan buoyed by our one-two in Australia. This victory only motivates us to work even harder to replicate the success as soon as possible,” Vasseur stated.

“Suzuka presents a particularly tough challenge for both cars and drivers, which is why it’s so popular among them. We believe we have a competitive package, but we know perfection in our work is necessary to outpace our rivals.”

“As always in Japan, and especially this year as it’s the first time we’re racing at Suzuka in early spring, the weather could play a role, but we’ve prepared for this eventuality at the factory and are determined to be at the forefront.”

Why Suzuka poses “unusual” challenges

Callum Frith, Ferrari’s tyre performance engineer, and his colleagues will play a key role this weekend on a track where tyres are severely tested. After a 2023 season marred by tyre issues, the SF-24’s strengths in this area should benefit the team on a circuit with unique demands.

“Suzuka features numerous high-speed turns, resulting in some of the highest tyre energy levels of the season. This is why Pirelli offers its hardest compounds (C1, C2, C3), reserved for the most demanding circuits.”

“Moreover, the unique figure-eight layout ensures all four tyres are heavily stressed, with car setup and weather conditions significantly influencing ultimate performance.”

“With an abrasive tarmac, races often feature high tyre wear, necessitating multiple pit stops. Finally, Suzuka’s unpredictable weather makes it a rigorous test for tyres on all fronts!”

A “more predictable” car to conserve tyres

Frith discusses Ferrari’s off-season efforts to address the 2023 car’s main issue – tyre degradation: “The team’s goal was clearly to enhance race performance, addressing the issue from multiple angles.”

“From a car development perspective, we focused on providing a consistent platform for the drivers: this means we have a more predictable car, allowing drivers to manage tyre wear better across various race scenarios such as traffic, wind shifts, or when a tyre’s maximum grip diminishes over a stint.”

“On the track, we also closely collaborated with the drivers to devise a plan for each race, detailing how and where to conserve tyres to finish as quickly as possible, based on specific strategies and circuit requirements. We can then follow this plan in real-time during the race, updating the drivers via radio if needed.”

Suzuka’s Challenge: Ferrari’s Test to Outdo Rivals. Suzuka’s Challenge: Ferrari’s Test to Outdo Rivals

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