Why Ferrari refused to copy Red Bull-style F1 suspension

Ferrari have continued to go their own way with one key area of their 2024 F1 car.

Charles Leclerc driving the new SF-24 for the first time
Charles Leclerc driving the new SF-24 for the first time

Ferrari have explained their decision to stick to their unique approach to one key area of their F1 car design, rather than copying Red Bull.

The Italian outfit revealed their “completely new” SF-24 car earlier this week as they bid to mount a title challenge to Red Bull during the upcoming 2024 season.

Intriguingly, Ferrari have continued with a pull-rod rear suspension layout, something that makes their car standout compared to their F1 rivals, all of whom have adopted a push-rod rear suspension.

Mercedes also ran a pull-rod rear suspension last season but the German manufacturer made the switch to a push-rod over the winter for the new campaign.

Explaining Ferrari’s decision-making process, the team’s technical director Enrico Cardile revealed his side did investigate the push-rod layout.

“We tested for a couple of years a push-rod suspension,” Cardile said.

Ferrari's 2024 F1 challenger, SF-24
Ferrari's 2024 F1 challenger, SF-24

“In reality, our rear suspension is a bit different in terms of top and lower wishbone distribution compared to a Red Bull one, to mention one team.

“We recorded good aero results moving towards this direction and when moving from pull-rod to push-rod, we didn't measure a big advantage to justify some compromise in terms of weight or compliance.

“So from there, we evolved our suspension, keeping the same layout.”

He added: “The main differences compared to last year's car are on the rear, where the inboard suspension is differently located inside the gearbox.

“It is also a different concept which, for us at least, has been an innovation because it's a different way to manage the inboard suspension compared to what we did in the past.”

Both Red Bull teams, Mercedes, McLaren, Aston Martin, Alpine, Sauber and Williams are all running a push-rod suspension layout.

Ferrari and Haas - their customer team - are the only outliers favouring a pull-rod rear suspension. 

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