Former Ferrari engineer Rory Byrne is reportedly offering his advice to his old team as they prepare their 2024 car.
Byrne was chief designer at Ferrari from 1996 to 2006 before taking up a consultant role he holds to this day and has reportedly been spotted at Maranello offering his experience to his successors.
According to a report, Byrne has been helping with the design of the 2024 car, codenamed project 676, as the team approach their launch date of February 13.
Rory Byrne back in Maranello for Ferrari 2024 car
Byrne is one of the most successful designers in Ferrari’s history having had major influence on the cars that would go on to power Michael Schumacher’s success with the Italian team, but decided to hand over the reins to his assistant Aldo Costa at the end of the 2006 season.
But that was not the end of the South African’s involvement with the team and he has since been serving as a consultant involved with the design of both the 2022 and 2023 car.
According to Motrosport.com’s Spanish site, Byrne was in Maranello before Christmas and is helping Enrico Cardile’s engineering team ahead of the 2024 season.
Byrne will turn 80 years old on the 10th and was reportedly keen to explore a more extreme design than the one used on the SF-23.
This would follow what team principal Fred Vasseur recently said when he suggested the new car would be “95%” different from its predecessor.
“Revolution – I don’t know if it is the right word because we have the same regulation now three years in a row that you can’t change massively the situation,” he told media at a Christmas dinner in Maranello.
“Again, it’s a matter of tenths of seconds. It means it’s all 0.1 or 0.2% performance that we are looking for. It’s not five [percent].
“For sure, we have to do a step. I don’t underestimate the step.
“We are changing 95% of the components of the car. Perhaps you can consider that it’s a revolution.”
The last title-winning car for Ferrari came in 2008 with the Ferrari F2008. That car, driven by Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa, was designed by Nikolas Tombazis who is now single seater director at the FIA.