F1’s disruptive bets: Ferrari and Aston Martin

Both in Silverstone and in Maranello claim to have learned from their 2023 mistakes to try to ‘hunt’ Red Bull in this World Cup

Aston Martin and Ferrari say they have learned from their mistakes in 2023. They have understood that their respective designs were not up to par with those set by Adrian Newey and Red Bull, who finished the season two steps ahead of all their rivals. Hence, the two teams have opted for a drastic change in their approaches when designing the new AMR24 and SF-24, partly copying some of the champion team’s solutions.

With 33 in mind

The Aston Martin that will begin the 2024 season is not a simple evolution of the previous one. And although we will not be able to draw realistic conclusions until the Bahrain tests (February 21-23), team boss Mike Krack is already openly talking about “fighting for the first victory in green” and Fernando Alonso’s eyes light up every time he They ask about AMR24. The famous victory 33 may be closer.

The AMR24 is the first concept designed entirely by Aston Martin technical director Dan Fallows, who joined the team last season from Red Bull. The Briton points to the two ‘push-rod’ suspensions and the ground as the keys on which he has based his work to try to achieve a competitive car on the different World Championship circuits.

The first change seen is the configuration of the front wing. On the AMR23 the nose extends to the end of the front wing flaps, while this year, the AMR24’s nose is shorter and has remained one level higher. The structure of the pontoons also changes. Those of 2024 have been narrowed vertically, inspired by the previous Red Bull.

On the side of the car there is also a change in the pontoon ramp, above the diffuser. The configuration of the rear wing has been simplified, narrower than that of the AMR23 to try to alleviate the lack of top speed on a straight line.

The changes of Ferrari and Aston Martin for 2024 / MARC CREUS

Fallows believes that Red Bull is not invincible and that the new car will allow Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll to fight with guarantees. The AMR23 surprised with a devastating start to the season, but as the season went on it clearly lost the development race with the ‘big guys’ like Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren.

“There is always a certain risk when you are developing a car and some of those improvements do not work as well as you might expect,” underlines Fallows, who believes that the AMR23 base has been very useful to evolve the new car: “We have learned a lot how “This car behaves and how to get the best out of it aerodynamically. So we are confident with the improvements implemented this year.”

Sainz’s last Ferrari

 In the Ferrari box, pending performance in testing and in the inaugural Bahrain Grand Prix (March 2), expectations are also very high. It looks like a difficult season in terms of sports management since Carlos Sainz already knows that next year he will have to leave his seat to Lewis Hamilton.

But on a technical level, in Maranello they trust that they have found the ‘key’ to make the new SF-24 a much more predictable and docile car than its predecessor, which Sainz and Leclerc were never able to squeeze to the maximum, with notable differences in performance. according to the circuits and also between the classification and the race.

Scuderia engineers warn that the new car “breaks with the tradition of recent years”, to have a car that is easier to push to the limit. As other teams on the grid have done, part of the design of the SF-24 is inspired by the Red Bull style, although retaining its hallmarks.

What is not seen, such as the lower floor and the rear suspensions, are fundamental elements in the ‘revolution’ promoted by the Maranello technicians, although at first glance there are also quite notable changes.

The nose is shorter and wider than that of the SF-23. The pontoon entrance is higher, with more clearance underneath. The drop is not so pronounced if we compare it with direct rivals. The front wing is wider and resembles that of Aston Martin. It dispenses with the tub to adopt the channel popularized by Alpine and adopted by many other teams.

The SF-24 has a cover that widens at its base to generate the two channels on the surface of the pontoons. The final area thus becomes a large hot air flow channel directed to the lower wing of the rear wing. The rear sidepods are narrower for aerodynamics. 

What does not change is the pull-rod suspension, which only Ferrari and its client Haas will maintain in 2024 compared to the majority’s commitment to push-rod.