The Italian squad is heading into the 2024 season with a sense of reinvigoration following its capture over the winter of Lewis Hamilton for 2025.
That high-profile signing is the culmination of what has been nicknamed ‘Operation Relaunch’ as Ferrari CEO John Elkann and team principal Fred Vasseur plot the Scuderia’s route back to the front of the grid.
In the SF-24, Ferrari hopes to make amends for some of the problems that Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz held back last year.
While the team’s 2023 car proved super-fast over a single lap in qualifying, it could not extract anywhere near the race pace and consistency of the benchmark Red Bull squad.
In the end, the team managed just a single victory throughout the campaign, thanks to Sainz’s success at the Singapore Grand Prix.
Ferrari hopes that the developments made to the SF-24 will help it make good progress on this front and reduce the peaky-aerodynamic performance that was one of the key factors that overshadowed its F1 efforts throughout last season.
While it is too early to judge realistic targets for the SF-24 car, and delivering a Red Bull beater may be too much to expect, Ferrari has enthusiasm about the steps that have been made and the plans that will carry it into the Hamilton era .
That much was proven on the eve of the Ferrari launch when Elkann took the unusual approach of heading to the F1 factory to witness the finishing touches being made to the stickers of the new SF-24.
It signaled that F1 is very much close to Elkann’s heart now and that he is paying detailed attention to the grand prix operation.
Optimism within Maranello is set to grow within the next few weeks with the rumored arrival of around 20 new personnel brought in to help the squad make the steps it feels are needed to push towards the front.