Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur has said their 2024 car is still in the “philosophical concepts” stage, but they are “at the maximum” of what they are able to work on in the simulator.
With Formula 1 having hit the summer break, even though the season has only just passed the halfway point in terms of races, the teams will already have one eye on what is to come next season.
Some teams will halt upgrades altogether to put all their resources into their 2024 cars, and beyond their pre-planned upgrade packages that have already received sign-off, Ferrari have done the same.
Ferrari boss provides key 2024 car update
Discussing their plans for the successor to the SF-23, Vasseur revealed that development stopped on the current car prior to the summer break.
While there are still upgrades to come this year which have already received sign-off, he said the bulk of the attention will now turn to next season – even though the design of the car is still in its infancy.
“For this season we stopped development in the wind tunnel at the end of July, but we have pieces already approved and in the works that we will take to Qatar or Austin,” Vasseur revealed to La Gazzetta dello Sport in Italy.
“For the single-seater for 2024, we are still at the philosophical concepts [stage]. The numbers say that you have to be aggressive in the project but with simulations and equations we are already at the maximum.
“We have to think differently, find margins thanks to which the riders can ride without always being at the limit. And in any case, the deadline for the new red is not the end of the year.
“We have to be ready for Bahrain in March. We still have many months ahead of us.”
Ferrari currently sit fourth in the Constructors’ Championship after a lower-than-expected performance this season by their standards, with three podiums to their name through Charles Leclerc.
Even though he has taken a couple of pole positions, the team boss said it is in race conditions where the Scuderia have really lost out to those around them, especially Red Bull, who have sailed to 12 wins out of 12 in the first half of the year.
“If you analyse the data, in qualifying we are 0.2% behind Red Bull, sometimes 0.4% but on some occasions we did better than them,” Vasseur added.
“The delta in the GP is instead much greater, so all the difference manifests itself on the race pace. As happens with the others, just look at the Mercedes.
“A logical explanation is that the Ferrari is difficult to drive: on a single lap you can take risks and keep it to the limit, in racing it is not possible and performance drops. It is an aerodynamic matter.
“In 2022 we were fine, we tried to do even better in the winter but the fact is underestimated that taking something to the extreme sometimes complicates life for the driver: the car when it moves it becomes unpredictable, its load is inconsistent.”