After the winter break, the start of the new F1 season is finally approaching. Teams have been diligently working in their factories to provide their drivers with even faster machines for the 2024 season.
Most teams have already unveiled their new cars, along with revised liveries and, in some cases, team name changes.
While it’s still early for detailed and precise technical analysis, we certainly have enough material to discuss new designs that can reveal the direction certain teams have chosen for the new season.
Similar to Williams, Haas is a team that has changed very little compared to their car from the previous season, at least that’s how it looks for now.
The fact is that we will only know the true changes the team has made during testing at the end of February.
— OneMotor Español (@OneMotorES) February 2, 2024
At first glance, the most significant change, apart from the new livery, is the modified geometry of the sidepod inlets. They are now narrower and wider.
This trend began in the middle of the previous season, and other teams quickly joined in. In today’s Formula 1 era, having wide sidepods that push dirty air away from crucial aerodynamic components is beneficial.
This approach allows for narrow inlets that still provide necessary airflow for engine cooling.
Additionally, the sidepods have been slightly redesigned and are very similar to McLaren’s from the end of the last season. This design is already well-known, and it is becoming evident that most teams will follow this path.
Haas has also changed the airbox intake, which is now rounded, but the triangular crash structure is still present.
At the rear of the car, a cutout wing tip detail is visible, and the beam wing has a new line that follows the aerodynamic changes in the sidepods.
However, perhaps the most striking change is the new predominantly black livery, emphasising exposed carbon fibre to reduce the car’s weight.
Stake F1 Team
Sauber, or rather the Stake F1 team, has undergone a complete redesign. Considering that the team now has a new main sponsor, the most striking are the new colours that have sparked divided opinions.
From a technical perspective, Stake employs a well-known trick for reducing weight, so it’s not surprising that black predominates.
New car new look with @stakef1team!
— 周冠宇 | Zhou Guanyu 🇨🇳 (@ZhouGuanyu24) February 5, 2024
Compared to last year’s model, the C44 has surprised the most with a change in the front suspension.
The push rod has been replaced with a pull rod system that functions in a completely different way. As the name suggests, the push rod design pushes the rocker, while the pull rod design pulls it.
The advantage of the pull rod is that the centre of gravity is lower since all heavy elements are located in the lower part of the car’s nose. On the other hand, the advantage of the push rod system is that the entire suspension system is more accessible and easier to adjust.
Aerodynamics also play a significant role, so Stake may have changed the front suspension for this reason.
It is challenging to say which of these two systems is better; each has its own strengths and weaknesses, meaning the better one is the one whose drawbacks bother you less at that moment.
Apart from this change, it seems that Stake has not yet wanted to reveal all the details, but did offer more insight at their car launch. Many things will become clearer during testing.
The French team, Alpine, has brought the most significant changes compared to other Formula 1 teams so far.
— Formula 1 (@F1) February 7, 2024
Firstly, a completely different look for the inlet and sidepods, known as waterslides. These waterslides are now much deeper and more pronounced, aiming to provide a more consistent airflow, especially in turns, enhancing the performance of key aerodynamic elements like the beam wing and diffuser.
From the image above, another interesting detail is noticeable. The sidepod inlet has new lines, following the trend of narrowing inlets, although not as aggressively as Haas.
However, what has attracted a lot of attention is a small inlet below the main sidepod inlet. It seems that Alpine wants to implement an “S-duct,” similar to Ferrari’s design from the previous year.
If that is the goal, then Alpine engineers probably want to increase or somehow control the airflow through the waterslides.
— · (@Ngoalinho) February 7, 2024
Of course, none of this is certain because it is not clear whether there is one or two separate inlets.
The front of the car has also been redesigned, featuring a larger nose resembling Formula 2 cars. The front suspension has a more aggressive upper wishbone, reminiscent of Red Bull’s design. The connection between the front wing and nose is different from the previous model, and the impact on Alpine’s performance remains to be seen.
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Another team that has completely changed its appearance, name, main sponsors, and technical details is VCARB. There were talks about how the sister team of Red Bull Racing wants to increase collaboration with the “elder brother” in technical terms to be more competitive in point battles.
Already at the presentation itself, we can confirm that this fact is true.
The most significant change from the previous season is the front suspension, transitioning from a push rod to a pull rod system, similar to Stake.
The design similarities between VCARB and Red Bull Racing are noticeable, with slightly wider sidepod inlets.
2024 🆚 2023
— Formula 1 (@F1) February 9, 2024
Other noteworthy details include a sharper front nose and sidepods with a light bathtub shape. These changes suggest a close technical collaboration between VCARB and Red Bull Racing.
In addition to the mentioned teams, Williams has also presented its new car to the public, but the changes appear minimal. The final look of the cars will become clearer during the testing sessions scheduled from February 21 to 23 in Bahrain.