Ferrari Distinct Approach from Mercedes W15 in Pursuit of Red Bull

Ferrari indicates a shift towards a unique design philosophy for their F1 2024 car, diverging from Mercedes' W15 approach.


By Ben Bush
Updated on February 5, 2024

Ferrari charting a unique course for F1 2024

In a strategic move to narrow the gap with Red Bull, the current World Champions, Ferrari has indicated they are considering a unique design approach for their F1 2024 car, differing from Mercedes’ W15 strategy.

Red Bull achieved an unprecedented level of dominance in the 2023 F1 season, securing victories in all but one of the 22 races, with Max Verstappen effortlessly clinching his third consecutive championship.

READ MORE: Accidental Reveal of Red Bull F1 New Name Sparks Controversy

Ferrari emerged as Red Bull’s sole competitor last season, achieving a Grand Prix win with Carlos Sainz in Singapore, breaking Verstappen’s streak of 10 consecutive wins. However, Ferrari ultimately fell short of surpassing Mercedes for second place in the 2023 Constructors’ Championship despite this victory.

Is Ferrari charting a unique course for F1 2024, diverging from Mercedes?

Despite Red Bull’s commanding lead in the sport, both Ferrari and Mercedes are optimistic about their chances for the 2024 season, with the nuances of Red Bull’s success becoming more apparent since the introduction of F1’s ground effect regulations in 2022.

The RB19, with its standout anti-dive suspension, was a crucial factor in Red Bull’s 2023 success. Red Bull’s design expert Adrian Newey was lauded for his insight into integrating the car’s underfloor with its suspension, a key aspect under the current rules.

Mercedes’ 2024 chassis is expected to represent a significant shift from their previous season’s non-winning model. Technical director James Allison has indicated a strong focus on this area with the new W15. Allison remarked on a substantial evolution in Mercedes’ approach to leveraging the ground effect regulations compared to the previous year.

As reported by The Race, Allison stated: “We’ve got a much better handle on how you get the aero platform and the spring platform to be happier bedfellows. That is the main challenge.”

However, Enrico Cardile, Ferrari’s technical chief, has downplayed the importance of suspension in the current F1 era, even labelling it as “overrated.”

In an interview with Auto Motor und Sport, Cardile commented: “The suspensions and setup are overrated, in my opinion, at this point.

“With the setup, you can work within a window in which the car works. But the car gives you this window.

“Today, the suspensions are designed to support the aerodynamics and still deliver reasonable kinematics. The layout of the suspension has to be massively wrong to have an influence [on car performance].”

In the upcoming month, Ferrari, Mercedes, and Red Bull are gearing up to introduce their F1 2024 cars over three successive days, with Ferrari leading the way by presenting their latest model on February 13.

Mercedes has planned a digital unveiling at Silverstone on February 14, followed by Red Bull showcasing their vehicle (primarily the livery) on February 15, the car Max Verstappen will use to defend his championship.

Last month, Allison of Mercedes shared the team’s aspirations to compete strongly for both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles in 2024, underpinned by what he described as a “pretty ambitious program” for the W15.

On the other hand, Fred Vasseur, the team principal at Ferrari, has committed to a largely renewed design for their upcoming car, reportedly named Project 676. He stated that it would be “95 per cent new,” highlighting the divergent design approaches Ferrari and Mercedes took during the ground effect regulations era.

Source: PlanetF1

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About The Author

Chief Editor

Ben Bush

Ben is our chief editor specialising in F1 from the 1990s to the modern era. Ben has been following Formula 1 since 1986 and is an avid researcher who loves understanding the technology that makes it one of the most exciting motorsport on the planet. He listens to podcasts about F1 on a daily basis, and enjoys reading books from the inspirational Adrian Newey to former F1 drivers.

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