Tech F1i: Ferrari headlines teams’ raft of upgrades at Imola

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This weekend’s Emilia Romagna GP is the first race of the European season, which typically sees F1 teams introduce their fair share of new developments.

Nine of the field’s ten teams have implemented changes to their 2024 designs, with everyone hoping to make a step forward, and especially Ferrari which unveiled at its first home race a significant development package on its SF-24.

The Scuderia enjoyed a bit of a head start on its rivals, having tested its new components during a filming day last week at Fiorano.

The Italian outfit’s changes – the purpose of which are to improve overall aero efficiency – include updated front and rear wings, tweaks to the SF-24’s sidepods and engine cover similar to Red Bull’s RB20, while the car’s floor and rear diffuser have also been modified.

Ferrari's senior performance engineer Jock Clear explained that with stable regulations for a longer period, it's natural for teams like Ferrari and Red Bull to converge on similar development solutions in certain areas.

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“The physics of airflow is the same for all teams,” Clear said. “So if you give teams any time, if you continually develop cars they will generally evolve to a very similar solution because we’re not working with different physics.

“So it’s probably not a coincidence, it’s a fact that when we’re developing cars which are nowadays obviously relatively tight in terms of regulation — there’s a lot less freedom than there used to be, so you’re going down a much narrower path than you were 15, 20 years ago — and if you’re on a narrow path people are going to arrive at very similar solutions.”

Speaking of Red Bull, the Milton Keynes-based outfit rolled out a new front wing, nose and floor on its RB20, while the car’s rear corners have also been modified for circuit specific purposes. Rear wheel bodywork has been revised to improve the brake cooling exit condition.

Mercedes followed up its recent Miami updates with additional changes to its W15 for the Emilia Romagna GP. The car’s floor has been revised along with tweaks to the silver arrow’s front corner, rear wing and beam wing.


Over at McLaren, the MCL38’s new parts include a rear wing and beam wing, both of which are listed as circuit-specific.

Aston Martin is still trying to catch up with its front-running rivals, so it’s unsurprising to see the Silverstone-based outfit enter this weekend’s event with the longest list of updates.

The team’s new-spec AMR24 features an upgraded front wing, nose, floor body, floor fences, floor edge, diffuser, engine cover, rear suspension and rear corner. Fernando Alonso ran the update in FP1, while Lance Stroll is expected to have the full package for FP2.

Alpine is testing on Friday a floor flank 'stay' that increases floor stiffness in front of the rear tyre. This reduces floor deflection at high-speed, which affects the flow around the rear tyres.

Williams is still tackling the excessive weight of its FW46. Progress on that front has been made for Imola thanks in part to the laminate on the car’s floor which has been changed to reduce the element’s mass.

Haas has introduced a new front wing endplate, a modified rear suspension and rear corner while Stake has changed the floor fences on its C44.

RB have not implemented any changes on the team’s VCARB01.

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