The Ferrari SF-24 was launched in front of a small audience of guests today, while the rest of the world watched online. It is the 70th car the company has built to take part in the Formula 1 World Championship.

Attending the presentation at the Fiorano track were President John Elkann, CEO Benedetto Vigna and Vice-President Piero Ferrari, along with representatives of the partners, as well as team members, starting with Team Principal Fred Vasseur and the drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.

The busiest season ever, with no fewer than 24 races, gets underway next week in Bahrain with the only pre-season three-day test session, followed by the first grand prix at the same venue, on Saturday 2 March.

Concept. The SF-24 is the third car of the new Formula 1 ground effect generation, but it breaks with the tradition of the past two years, starting with the look of it. The design group, led by Enrico Cardile, aimed to give Charles and Carlos a car that is easy to drive and that reacts predictably, with as a starting point, the positive feeling the drivers had in the cockpit over the final few races of last season. The goal is to allow them to make the most of the power unit’s potential, combined with their undoubted skill behind the wheel.

Colours and details. At first glance, the car is aesthetically very different to its predecessors and this also goes for the livery. Following a positive reception in Las Vegas last November, white makes its return together with yellow – always Ferrari’s second colour –, an evident link with Modena but also a nod to the Maranello marque’s other main racing activity apart from Formula 1, namely the World Endurance Championship. As was the case last year, the SF-24 and the WEC 499P share the same shade of red, again this year with a matt finish on the Formula 1 car. It’s not the first time that a Ferrari Formula 1 car has featured yellow, although the yellow longitudinal stripes have not been seen since 1968, while this year, for the very first time, it’s paired with white. There is therefore less black on the car than in previous years, now restricted to the floor, the bargeboards, part of the halo and other small areas. The wheels are red with a double white and yellow stripe, these colours also featuring on the race numbers – 16 and 55 – which continue to use the Maranello marque’s official font, Ferrari Sans, this time in italics.

First kilometres. The SF-24 will run on track for the first time for filming, photographic, marketing and communications purposes, but of course these first few kilometres give the team a chance to carry out a shakedown and allow the drivers to get an initial idea of how the car behaves on track, having assessed it on the simulator in recent weeks.

Fred Vasseur, Team Principal: “Presenting a new car to the world for the first time is always a very exciting moment for me and the drivers, even if we are all already thinking about the moment we will go head to head with our rivals on track. This year, we must start off where we left off at the end of last season when we were consistent front runners, to constantly improve in all areas. The longest-ever Formula 1 season awaits us and Charles, Carlos and I all agree, that we must be more clinical and effective in how we manage the races, making bold choices, to get the best possible result at every Grand Prix. It’s often said that your fans can give you extra gear and that will be true in what will be a very closely contested championship and we are proud to know we can count on our “tifosi” from around the world.”

Charles Leclerc, Driver #16: “I like the look of the car a lot, including the white and yellow parts on the bodywork. But of course, what interests me is how it will perform on track, as that’s all that matters. The SF-24 ought to be less sensitive and easier to drive and for us drivers, that’s what you need in order to do well. I expect the car to be a step forward in several areas and from the impression I formed in the simulator I think we’re where we want to be. This season the aim is to be front runners all the time and I want to give our fans plenty to cheer about, by dedicating race wins to them.”

Carlos Sainz, driver #55: “When I saw the SF-24 for the first time, I couldn’t wait to jump in and fire it up. Now, I’m looking forward to driving it on track to see if it correlates with the feeling I had from the simulator, which is that it’s the step forward we all want. The aim is to have a car that’s more driveable and therefore able to run at a consistent race pace, as these are the basic requirements to fight for wins. We drivers have done our very best to give the engineers precise feedback and I’m sure the workforce in Maranello will have listened to our needs. We want to give the fans something to cheer about, as they were so supportive last year, even when things weren’t going our way.”

Enrico Cardile, Technical Director Chassis: “With the SF-24 we wanted to create a completely new platform and in fact, every area of the car has been redesigned, even if our starting point was the development direction we adopted last year and which saw us leap forward in terms of competitiveness in the final part of the season. We have taken on board what the drivers told us and turned those ideas into engineering reality, to give them a car that’s easier to drive and therefore easier to get the most out of and push it to its limits. We did not set ourselves any design constraints other than that of delivering a strong and honest racing car, which can reproduce on the race track what we have seen in the wind tunnel.”

Enrico Gualtieri, Technical Director Power Unit: “Even though power unit development is frozen by the regulations, it doesn’t mean that 2024 does not present some interesting challenges. We will be tackling more races than in any other year of the championship and that will require us to react more quickly, with fewer hours available on the test bed. To prepare for this, we have reviewed all the processes relating to the engine – preparation, signing-off and management – in order to maximise performance. Furthermore, we have worked very closely with our partners to further optimise procedures relating to reliability: for example, at the track, thanks to the regular monitoring of the fluids in the car, Shell is able to constantly check on the state of health of the power unit.” –

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