Ferrari unveils “redesigned” 2024 F1 challenger

Photo credit: Scuderia Ferrari
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Ferrari has unveiled its 2024 challenger, the SF-24, which has been completely “redesigned” in order to address the weaknesses identified in its predecessor. 

Enrico Cardile, Ferrari’s Technical Director, highlighted the importance of taking the drivers’ feedback into consideration to rectify some of the issues the team encountered in 2023, particularly in terms of driveability and the car’s narrow operational window.

“With the SF-24 we wanted to create a completely new platform and in fact, every area of the car has been redesigned,” Cardile explained. 

“Even if our starting point was the development direction we adopted last year and which saw us take a leap forward in terms of competitiveness in the final part of the season.

“We have taken on board what the drivers told us and turned those ideas into engineering reality, with the aim of giving them a car that’s easier to drive and therefore easier to get the most out of and push it to its limits. 

“We did not set ourselves any design constraints other than that of delivering a strong and honest racing car, which can reproduce on the race track what we have seen in the wind tunnel.”

For the SF-24, Ferrari has drawn inspiration from the special livery it ran for the inaugural race in Las Vegas, with the inclusion of white accents. The team has also opted to add splashes of yellow, evoking the team’s history while also serving as a tribute to Ferrari’s 499P Hypercar that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans upon Ferrari’s return to endurance racing in 2023.

Speaking after the unveiling of the SF-24, Charles Leclerc admitted he’s pleased with the new look of the car—and added that he expects it to be “easier to drive” compared to the problematic SF-23.

“I like the look of the car a lot, including the white and yellow parts on the bodywork,” he said. 

“But of course, what really interests me is how it will perform on track, as that’s all that matters. The SF-24 ought to be less sensitive and easier to drive and for us drivers that’s what you need in order to do well.

“I expect the car to be a step forward in several areas and from the impression I formed in the simulator I think we’re where we want to be. This season the aim is to be front runners all the time and I want to give our fans plenty to cheer about, by dedicating race wins to them.”

After a shaky start to the season, Ferrari managed to find a decent rhythm, and ultimately finished the season stronger than it had started it—a Sainz pole and podium gave the Tifosi something to cheer about on home turf in Monza; the Spaniard followed this feat up with the only non-Red Bull win of the season, capitalising on the Bulls’ (rare) poor form in Singapore.

A promising upgrade introduced in Japan allowed Leclerc to push the car harder in a bid to extract maximum performance. He finished the season on a high, securing three podiums and three pole positions across the final five race weekends.

Photo credit: Scuderia Ferrari

“Presenting a new car to the world for the first time is always a very exciting moment for me and the drivers, even if we are all already thinking about the moment we will go head to head with our rivals on track,” said team principal Fred Vasseur.

The Frenchman was confirmed as Mattia Binotto’s replacement in December 2022, and therefore inherited the SF-23 project. Over the course of the season Vasseur overhauled the management structure and technical department—under his leadership, Ferrari announced the departures of figures such as David Sanchez and Laurent Mekies, promoted Ravin Jain to Head of Strategy, and appointed Enrico Cardile as its new Technical Director.

The SF-24 is the first Ferrari single-seater that Vasseur has actively overseen the development of as team principal. Heading into his second season at the helm of the Scuderia, the pressure will be on Vasseur to prove the team can make a substantial step forward compared to last year. 

“This year, we must start off where we left off at the end of last season, when we were consistent front runners, with a view to constantly improving in all areas.”

2024 will be Carlos Sainz’s final season in red—he is set to be replaced by Lewis Hamilton, whose shock move from Mercedes to Ferrari was announced earlier this month. From 2025, the seven-time world champion will drive alongside Charles Leclerc, who recently signed an extension deal with the Scuderia. 

“The longest ever Formula 1 season awaits us and Charles, Carlos and I all agree, we must be more clinical and effective in how we manage the races, making bold choices, in order to get the best possible result at every Grand Prix,” Vasseur continued.

As for what would be considered a successful 2024 for Ferrari, Vasseur joked, “I’m still not able to see something in the crystal ball because they didn’t give me the manual! 

“But we need to continue the progression that we had at the end of the 2023 season. We need to be able to score more points, to be more performing for sure, to be more efficient—it was probably the biggest weakness of last year.”

First videos of the SF-24 hitting the track at Fiorano have already appeared on Ferrari’s social media, with the team intending to complete a filming day and shakedown before pre-season testing gets underway in Bahrain next week.