FIA reveal extensive list of big Red Bull and Ferrari upgrades at Imola

Michelle Foster
Ferrari's Imola upgrades's Thomas Maher captured Ferrari's Imola upgrades

Although much of the focus in the build-up to Imola has been on Ferrari’s said-to-be Red Bull-styled upgrades, the reigning World Champion didn’t disappoint with five notable new parts.

It’s being billed as Adrian Newey’s last in-depth say in the design of the RB20 after Red Bull cut off his access following confirmation he’ll leave the team early next year.

Red Bull, Ferrari and Aston Martin lead the way with updates

Winning four of this year’s first six Grands Prix, and dominating qualifying, Red Bull are not resting on their laurels as the Milton Keynes squad looks to assert control again after McLaren’s Miami celebrations.

The team has not only upgraded the RB20’s floor, the car has also been fitted with a new front wing, rear corner and nose.

The floor and Newey’s ‘seeing air’ tricks have often been billed as the key to Red Bull’s success since 2022 and, according to the FIA report, the latest design, the result of CFD learnings, sees the shedding edges under the wing being re-positioned to extract locally more load whilst still maintaining the flow stability criteria.

Meanwhile, the floor body has also been altered with the upper surface of the floor revised to improve the onset flow to parts downstream.

Max Verstappen has made it clear the upgrades are not in response to McLaren’s Miami GP win, they were always in the “pipeline” at Red Bull.

Have Red Bull made a misstep with the RB20?

Ferrari also have a host of new parts, seven to be exact, but it is the sidepod inlet, engine cover and diffuser layout that have caught the eye, along with the rear wing.

For the sidepods, the team has a new ‘P-shape inlet’ that improves flow quality over the floor edge while the engine cover features reworked cooling. It has also been introduced to improve flow quality towards the back of the car.

The diffuser features a revised profile which has been optimised to work with the rest of Ferrari’s upgrades.

Changes to the rear suspension, floor edge as well as both the front and rear wings cap Ferrari’s ‘2.0’ SF-24.

FIA drawing of Ferrari's Imola upgrades

With Imola marking the first of the European races, which makes it easier for teams to bring new parts and, if necessary in the event of an accident, replace them, Mercedes have brought the second half of their package.

The W15 will feature a new floor body, floor fences, beam wing, rear wing and front corner.

While the first part of the upgrade did not yield notable performance gains in Miami, Mercedes put that down to rivals’ improvements as they were adamant it is moving in the right direction.

Can rivals take the fight to Red Bull at Imola?

👉 Significant rear wing change for Ferrari catches the eye in Imola paddock

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Mercedes upgraded Imola rear wing

Aston Martin joined the list of those going big for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as their tally rivalled – and beat – Ferrari for the updates which totalled nine.

The AM24 has almost everything from a new front wing and nose to floor, diffuser, engine cover, rear suspension and rear corner.

With every one of those aimed at performance, not just circuit-specific, Aston Martin will be hoping Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll can enter the fight for the podium.

Meanwhile Formula 1’s most recent race winners, McLaren, have brought circuit-specific wings to Imola while Alpine, Williams and Stake have also tweaked their floors.

Haas have a new rear suspension, with the top wishbone fairings reshaped to be more compliant with the incoming flow, while RB have not brought any changes.

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