Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Ferrari commit to aggressive development path with SF-24

Ferrari claimed its first 1-2 finish in two years in Melbourne, asserting itself as a legitimate frontrunner in Formula 1. However, the Italian outfit’s team principal, Fred Vasseur, insists that complacency is not an option. Consistent with this declaration, Ferrari is preparing several upgrades to continue improving the SF-24.

There were plenty of pessimistic assessments of Ferrari’s 2024 car in pre-season. Analysts almost universally described the SF-24 as an underwhelming package due to its lack of dramatic external features.

For many, the engineers in Maranello had failed to introduce the innovations necessary to challenge Red Bull. Roughly 30 days later, this initial scepticism has fallen flat on its face.

To be clear, Ferrari still has a long road ahead. While Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc secured a dominant 1-2 in Australia, external circumstances played into their hands.

Of course, this is nothing new in Formula 1. Despite the seemingly inevitable nature of Verstappen’s dominance last year, unpredictability is an inherent aspect of the sport.

However, when analysing the Scuderia’s competitiveness, Max Verstappen retiring from the race (alongside Perez suffering floor damage) must be taken into account.

Embed from Getty Images

Ferrari to use Australia as a springboard

Still, there is enough evidence to suggest that, regardless of Red Bull’s shenanigans, the SF-24 was fast enough for victory. On Friday’s Practice, Charles Leclerc produced the fastest times in qualifying and race simulations.

In qualifying, only a mistake from Carlos Sainz in turns 9/10 denied the Spaniard a chance to fight for Pole Position. Still, the SF-24’s raw performance and favourable tyre management were apparent from day 1 in Albert Park.

After claiming his first 1-2 finish as Ferrari team principal, Fred Vasseur emphasised the importance of continued progress. The Frenchman makes clear, “We are not getting carried away” after such a strong performance.

As mentioned previously, the Maranello team boss explained that Ferrari must “Continue with this approach in the coming races” to sustain this early form.

Embed from Getty Images

Upgrades necessary to keep pressure on Red Bull

First place in the Championship is within touching distance of the Scuderia. The challenge now is to ensure Red Bull does not return to the dominance they asserted last season.

To achieve this, upgrades will be necessary. As it stands, the SF-24 is a relatively undeveloped concept. This is not to suggest (as some did at the pre-season launch) that the car is not highly competitive.

Instead, this categorisation speaks to Ferrari’s potential to improve as 2024 continues. Fred Vasseur has commented on this previously, citing the importance of the SF-24’s platform for season-long upgrades.

After receiving a small update in Melbourne, another minor upgrade is being prepared for Suzuka.

However, the biggest upgrade package will arrive in Imola. This will see visible changes to the car and – potentially – demonstrate that Australia’s victory is only the beginning.


More Posts

Send Us A Message