F1 teams light on upgrades as teams chase ‘small’ gains at the Australian GP

Michelle Foster
Aston Martin AMR24 with aero rakes

Aston Martin AMR24 with aero rakes

Four teams, including Red Bull and Mercedes, have not brought a single new part to the Melbourne circuit for round three of the F1 2024 championship.

And those who have updated their cars? Well, they say it’s the small details that matter.

Australian GP upgrades revealed

After back-to-back races in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia where all the teams introduced a host of parts for their new 2024 cars, this weekend the list of upgrades for the Australian Grand Prix is light.

Ferrari has added a new winglet for the rear wing pylon that, while not circuit-specific for the Albert Park track, the addition is a minor update and offers a small increase of local aerodynamic load.

Ferrari's update for the 2024 Australian Grand Prix.
Ferrari’s update for the 2024 Australian Grand Prix.

It’s winglets and rear brake ducts for Williams’ FW46, while Aston Martin has new front wing flaps and RB a new rear wing.

Compared to the wing used in the opening race of the season, this new rear wing has been redesigned to improve efficient load generation and drag levels.

Sauber has also brought flaps and a redesigned endplate while Alpine, despite their massive struggles this season, has only brought a new beam wing with them to the Albert Park circuit.

The circuit-specific wing is expected to allow for further drag reduction if deemed optimum to improve overall lap time. Alpine has removed the upper element, leaving just a single element beam wing component that generates less downforce and drag.

Meanwhile, Red Bull, Mercedes, McLaren, and Haas have added nothing new to their cars ahead of round three.

RB's updates for the 2024 Australian Grand Prix.
RB’s updates for the 2024 Australian Grand Prix.

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Although Mercedes doesn’t have new parts for Melbourne, they have reportedly reverted to their pre-season testing floor instead of running the floor edge tweak used in Bahrain and Jeddah.

Lewis Hamilton seems to be a lot happier with his W15 than he was in the immediate aftermath of the Saudi Arabian GP.

“Through set-up, through ultimately mistakes, we’re obviously not happy with the performance at those first couple of races,” he admitted.

“But I think there’s a lot more potential in it that we just haven’t quite extracted yet. So that’s what everyone’s focus is on, just trying to understand the car.

“And we’re hoping this weekend is a step forward. There’s a huge amount of work that’s gone on, everyone’s heads are down in the numbers and I feel positive for this weekend. We’ve had two not such great races but there’s a long way ahead.”

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