First look: Ferrari SF-24 Imola upgrades break cover with Red Bull targeted

Oliver Harden
A detail shot of the upgraded Ferrari SF-24 in the Imola pit lane

Can Ferrari's Imola upgrades allow them to catch Red Bull?

Ferrari’s highly anticipated upgrade package for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix has appeared for the first time in the Imola pit lane as the Scuderia aim to take the fight to Red Bull.

Ferrari have emerged as Red Bull’s most consistent threat in the early months of the F1 2024 season, with Carlos Sainz leading home a one-two finish in the Australian Grand Prix.

Ferrari SF-24 Imola upgrades break cover

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher

The Prancing Horse have arrived at Imola – the first of two Italy-based F1 2024 races – armed with the team’s first major upgrade package of the new campaign, having sampled the new parts in a filming day at their Fiorano test track last week.

That shakedown came after Ferrari trialled the FIA’s latest development of the sprayguard concept, designed to aid driver visbility in wet conditions.

It is hoped that the update – featuring modifications to the sidepod inlets, floor and rear wing – will allow Ferrari to challenge Red Bull on a more consistent basis.

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Speaking in the FIA press conference on Thursday at Imola, Sainz predicted that Ferrari’s battle with Red Bull and McLaren is likely to remain track-specific as the development race continues.

And he has stressed the need for the team to target the car’s weaknesses, having been frustrated by the its lack of performance in China last month as Ferrari’s 100 per cent podium streak ended.

He told media including’s Thomas Maher: “I still think it’s going to be track-dependent.

“Miami was a better-suited track for our car and we had really good pace, even though McLaren and Red Bull were maybe half a step in front.

“Our car felt back to normal, while in China in particular it felt really not good, so I think we’re going to be very track-dependent and hopefully Imola is one of those good tracks for us and we can put on a good show in front of the crowd. This would be the ideal scenario.

“For the rest of [the season], we’re going to need to keep developing for tracks like China because there are certain types of corner where our car really struggles right now and we need to keep moving forward in that sense.”

Red Bull are also expected to debut upgrades at Imola, while McLaren are set to run with two fully upgraded cars this weekend after Lando Norris’s victory at the previous race in Miami.

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