Ferrari pursues new rear wing approach to close down Red Bull’s DRS advantage

One of the main advantages that Red Bull exploited throughout last season was good aero efficiency, which made the car strong in a straightline.

Its advantage increased when its DRS was opened, as the team had made the most of perfecting the drag ratio of its mainplane at the rear of the car and how it worked in conjunction with the beam wing.

Other teams like McLaren did start going down the Red Bull route throughout 2023, and Ferrari has revealed that it is making big changes in this area too.

Technical director Enrico Cardile said at the launch of the team’s new SF-24 on Tuesday that Ferrari had put a lot of effort into chasing DRS gains for its new car.

Asked by if going down the Red Bull DRS direction was something the team had focused on, Cardile said: “Yes, it is. I mean, a part of the development of this car has been also to revamp completely the rear wing.

“The car has been already presented with a new mid-downforce rear wing and we are revamping accordingly all the range pretty much we have. So we focus our attention also on the rear wings.”

The wing that appeared on the Ferrari launch car featured a different layout for the central pillar.

Ferrari SF-24

Ferrari SF-24

Photo by: Ferrari

It has a more Swan neck-like layout as it hangs over the mainplane and connects to the DRS pod.

Ferrari also appears to have switched to the Alpine-style semi-detached tip section, which is one of the two approaches that has appeared in this area of the car over the past season.

While the new Ferrari has shifted concept-wise more towards the Red Bull direction overall, Cardile said that the team was still very much doing things in its own way.

“We took definitely our own direction,” he said. “We did during last year a big job to understand what driveability meant in terms of shaping the aero map, so the direction is our own.

“I’m not able to say where Red Bull in terms of target setting went, or is going in the future. Once they find the target we obviously scan several options and we find, on the current one, that is the best way to achieve our own targets.”

Cardile said that the launch specification of car would be the same one that the squad would race in Bahrain, while updates would follow once the team better understands the characteristics of its new challenger.

“The only thing I can say is that the car we’ve done already has progressed and evolved compared to the one presented,” he said.

“Then we will decide when it will be better to bring the first updates on track. The first step is to see where we are compared to our competitors.”

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