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How Ferrari will challenge Red Bull after McLaren Miami success

McLaren and Mercedes took important updates to the Miami Grand Prix, while Ferrari hopes to strike at the next race weekend at Imola. Paolo Filisetti, RacingNews365 technical expert, explains where the three teams are trying to improve their cars.

To news overview © Paolo Filisetti/RacingNews365

Ferrari brought no updates to the SF-24 in Miami, except for a special livery. The blue shades referenced the team's NART team colors and light blue uniforms in the 1970s and served as a welcome to new title sponsor HP. The major development to the car itself will be used from the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

McLaren brought a major update package with it to Miami. Whilst the details of that upgrade has already been analysed, Lando Norris' win makes it interesting to underline the extent to which the developments match Ferrari's coming package for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Led by Enrico Cardile and the staff coordinated by Diego Tondi, the Ferrari engineers have put together a very comprehensive update package, similar in scope to McLaren's. The direction of the updates even matches 80%.

This is an important factor, because the performance of the MCL38 was much more consistent than it has been. Norris, apart from the safety car advantage, had pace that was superior to his rivals, even in the early stages of the race.

Development direction Ferrari (Imola)

So it is an important moment for the Italian team. It decided not to put the first updates of the year on the car until Imola, with the reason being that they could accurately evaluate the interaction between the aerodynamics and the vehicle dynamics. 

The application of the suspension adjustments, especially in terms of ride height and dynamic response, made it possible to significantly improve this area as well.

The perfect balance of the car plays a role in this, without taking into account the limits in some situations, such as the heating of the tyres. 

In short, if McLaren seemed to have become the second team behind Red Bull at the expense of Ferrari in Miami, it is easy to imagine that the Scuderia's jump could be significant at Imola.

A separate mention goes to Mercedes, as the team from Brackley seems to be heading for endless decline. In Miami, the team presented a third version of the front wing with a slightly modified nose cone in the front section. 

Furthermore, the floor had also been thoroughly modified, with a different shape of the final flap. Finally, the vertical cross-section of the side slots had been strengthened and the number of air guides had been increased. The two substantial changes did not result in improved performance.

Development direction Ferrari (Imola)

The SF-24 is being substantially modified for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. The yellow arrows indicate which parts will be updated. It corresponds 80% to the areas developed by McLaren for the Miami Grand Prix.

			© Paolo Filisetti/RacingNews365
	© Paolo Filisetti/RacingNews365

Development direction McLaren MCL38

The red arrows indicate where McLaren has made updates. For example, the front wing has been modified at the level of the central section, making it flatter. The shape of the front suspension is also new.

			© Paolo Filisetti/RacingNews365
	© Paolo Filisetti/RacingNews365

Air intakes McLaren MCL38

The openings of the air intakes at the sidepods have now been made more elongated and the profile of the "bellies" has been changed. In addition, the floor has been addressed in terms of both front and side edges. Finally, McLaren has a new diffuser and a new beam wing.

			© Paolo Filisetti/RacingNews365
	© Paolo Filisetti/RacingNews365

New front wing Mercedes W15

The W15's third front wing had a new flap at the top to promote efficiency on the long straight. The tip of the nose cone was also slightly flatter.

Floor Mercedes W15

The major change to the side profile of the floor is interesting. Indeed, in the new version, the vertical cross-section of the slot at the bottom has been enlarged. Five airflow distributors can be seen instead of three. The solution was supposed to better seal the floor from turbulent airflow on the side.

Also interesting:

Join RacingNews365's Ian Parkes and Nick Golding as they are joined by ex-Formula 1 team principal Otmar Szafnauer to discuss the 'silliest of silly seasons' as well as McLaren and Lando Norris' victory at the Miami Grand Prix.

Rather watch than listen to our podcast? Click here

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