Uncovered: Ferrari’s major SF-24 upgrades that could power them to Monaco win

Uros Radovanovic
A close-up shot of the upgraded Ferrari SF-24 at Imola.

Ferrari: Looking to take the fight to Red Bull alongside McLaren

This past weekend at Imola, we witnessed a completely different look for Ferrari and all their long-awaited upgrades.

However, after the race in Italy, the question arises of how much these upgrades have helped the red team, considering that on Sunday, they were still the third fastest behind McLaren and Red Bull.

Ferrari Imola upgrades analysed ahead of Monaco Grand Prix

At first glance, the most noticeable changes are on the sidepods, where the geometry and the inlet have been completely changed.

As we could already predict, Ferrari has continued with the overbite trend, which Red Bull started at the beginning of this season. However, Ferrari hasn’t copied this philosophy but implemented it uniquely along with another design we saw on Alpine this year.

This is an excellent example of engineers “picking up” multiple ideas and implementing them in their unique way.

The overbite inlet has several advantages over the previous underbite solution, one of the most important being the clean air over the top of the sidepod.

This clean air-flow is later much easier to control and direct to very important aerodynamic elements located at the rear of the car.

We can also see that the shape of the sidepod inlet resembles an inverted “L,” which, unlike Red Bull’s, is not separate but represents one inlet.

We saw a very similar idea on Alpine’s car at the beginning of this season.

The lower part of the inlet functions to collect dirty air coming from the front suspension, which tends to stick to the side surface of the car’s nose.

Additionally, this arrangement opens up much more space to the undercut region located below the sidepod itself.

This region is a very important aerodynamic segment that engineers pay a lot of attention to because a well-designed undercut can bring a lot of high-energy air to the diffuser, aiding its efficient operation.

Efficient diffuser operation is crucial if you want to have the necessary amount of downforce generated by the car’s floor.

With the new inlet change, Ferrari has also enabled a much larger undercut region, which will surely have a positive impact on the rear of the car.

When talking about the sidepod region, it’s also worth mentioning a very interesting element located behind the halo, which has already been nicknamed the “cobra” design.

Ferrari’s engineers experimented a lot in this region but decided on an unusual design to complement the other changes on the car.

The main goal of this element is to separate the losses from the driver’s cockpit from the clean air and attach them as closely as possible to the car’s surface.

This turbulent air will later exit below the rear wing, so it won’t significantly affect its efficiency. Again, the main focus is on the clean air passing over the sidepods.

New Front Wing, Cooling, Mirrors, and New Rear Wing

Other upgraded elements are there to support these main changes and make their operation as effective as possible.

The lines of the front wing have also been changed and it seems that it is now more aggressive than before.

One theory is that the more aggressive front wing won’t affect the airflow behind it as much due to the overbite design of the sidepod inlet.

These two elements work together, and the airflow “sucked in” after passing over the front wing can be effectively directed over the upper edge of the sidepod to the rear of the car.

We can’t say for sure, but maybe this front wing design cost Ferrari better top speeds in Imola, which they needed.

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What might please the red team’s fans is that the next race is in Monaco, a place where the emphasis on top speed is lower than at any race on the calendar.

For the first time this season, Ferrari has also changed its rear wing, which now has much sharper and more aggressive outer edges compared to the previous one.

Naturally, with such a move come small changes in the rear suspension and engine cooling, for which Ferrari introduced two new large outlets.

As always, the main goal is for the low-energy air coming from these outlets to affect the rear wing and diffuser as little as possible, which is why it needs to be precisely directed.

An interesting fact is that during the testing of the car’s cooling system, teams are not counted the limited time in the wind tunnel and the time allotted for CFD simulations. Therefore, teams take full advantage of this loophole in the FIA regulations.

Is the SF24 EVO a step forward for Ferrari?

After the race, the impression remains that Ferrari did not meet the fans’ expectations.

It seemed that Ferrari would be able to challenge Red Bull, but during the weekend in Imola, McLaren was actually closer to doing so.

We mentioned that Ferrari struggled with top speeds, and this can be seen in the image above.

Where they were the fastest was actually in slow and medium-speed corners. They simply didn’t have enough performance either during qualifying or the race to fight for first place.

The segment in which they definitely improved is maintaining optimal tire temperatures, both on medium-soft and hard Pirelli tires.

Considering the race data, we can say that they are certainly one of the favourites in the race in Monaco.

Good stability and speed in slow corners are key, and that is precisely what Ferrari has.

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