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Formula 1 Spanish GP

The new Ferrari F1 upgrades overshadowed by its old bouncing problems

Ferrari suffered with high-speed bouncing in Spain, which clouded the progress of new Formula 1 upgrades

Ferrari SF-24 diffuser Spanish GP

Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

Giorgio Piola is the preeminent Formula 1 technical journalist. View our full selection of Giorgio's technical illustrative content

Ferrari fast-tracked a new upgrade for the Spanish Grand Prix in a bid to keep pace with the clear steps that its Formula 1 rivals have made in recent weeks.

And while it endured a pretty disappointing time at Barcelona, the message coming out of the Maranello squad was that this was not down to the new parts not working – it was the fact it was held back by its historical high-speed bouncing issues.

These proved costly in the fast final sector of the lap and, with margins so tight at the front of the field, it exaggerated the team's position drop.

The changes Ferrari made for Spain are an extension of the concept already applied to the SF-24 in Imola, with a suite of optimisations to better extract performance from the airflow's passage around the midsection of the car and its journey rearward.

The team implemented these changes with the understanding that they should increase performance but not at the cost of seeing a return of it being a tricky car to drive, as explained by performance engineer Jock Clear.

"We've often spoken about how we're looking to make the car a bit more benign and we're looking to calm it down a bit," he said. "A lot of what we've done in the last year, I would say is very much based on that.

"This is just an incremental upgrade. So this is just a little bit more downforce and a little bit less drag, so it's slightly more efficient."

In terms of the updates, there is new bodywork in the front portion of the sidepod in order to better harness the newer P-shaped inlet arrangement.

The team also redefined the undercut, which then feeds back into the waist and beltline that have been raised further up from the floor.

Ferrari SF-24 Sidepod & Floor changes (arrows)

Ferrari SF-24 Sidepod & Floor changes (arrows)

Photo by: Uncredited

This side-by-side comparison of the SF-24, albeit from slightly different angles, shows how much the beltline has been raised (blue line), increasing the space between the sidepod's underbelly and the floor.

The floor has also undergone a raft of changes, as the team looks to build on the alterations made for Imola, with the floor fences adjusted to complement the lowering of the floor's roof thereafter.

Notably, the lower SIS cover has changed shape in this region, giving an indication of the scope of change being made (blue arrow)

There are also changes made to the volume at the rear edge of the floor, with not only the geometry subtly altered but the number of brackets used to hold the floor and edge wing also reduced (red arrow).

Meanwhile, the diffuser has undergone a transformation, as the alterations upstream have allowed the designers more scope to work on the shape of the boat and keel regions, a region of which Ferrari has already worked extensively in the past and appears to have a good understanding of.

Ferrari SF-24 new fin DX
Ferrari SF-24 diffuser Spanish GP

The introduction of new halo furniture with the Imola updates included a 'Cobra' winglet, which is mounted beside where the rear leg of the safety structure transitions into the cockpit.

These winglets have been further optimised as part of the update package that arrived in Spain, with the height of the Cobra more proud than before. The hooked and horizontal portion of the winglet is now more in line with the top edge of the halo beside it.

It is a subtle adjustment but one which will clearly have a bearing on how the airflow moves past the winglet, whilst the trail of vortices that are likely produced are also going to be repositioned.

Ferrari SF-24 new fin DX

Ferrari SF-24 new fin DX

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The team also introduced a circuit-specific update in Spain, as it continues to add to its downforce and drag options with a new rear wing.

The new specification upper flap and mainplane design introduced for Spain remains within the new design family that the team introduced at Imola, with the revised tip section and endplate cutout serving to improve the role that the tip vortex plays in managing losses.

These new elements sit between the downforce options used at Imola and Monaco, with the team looking for the right trade-off between downforce and drag for the Circuit de Catalunya, whilst providing another option for the remainder of the season too.

Ferrari SF-24 rear

Ferrari SF-24 rear

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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