‘Engineering cul-de-sac’ concern for Lewis Hamilton’s Ferrari future?

Lewis Hamilton will hope Ferrari's bold suspension choice is not a mistake

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 23, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 23,…

Lewis Hamilton has been warned of an engineering issue that could haunt him at Ferrari.

Hamilton will spend 2024 with Mercedes before linking up with the famous Italian team next year.

When he arrives there will be one year before the new 2026 F1 regulations kick in.

Sky Sports’ Simon Lazenby considered the changes at Ferraro: “[Team principal Fred Vasseur] had a tough start.

“In his first six months into the job he lost some key personnel in Ferrari.

“David Sanchez went to McLaren. Laurent Mekies has gone off. And a couple of key aero guys.

“He’s rebuilding this in his image with the help of John Elkann.

“It seems like when the Ferrari F1 team isn’t going too well, the chairman doesn’t interfere. They just stay in the background.

“But he has been front and centre of it.

“I wonder what assurances Lewis has been given about 2026 and beyond.

“Go back and think about his move from McLaren to Mercedes. He made it at the right time.

“We’re a couple of years off the regulations changes.

“Let’s not forget that this is a Ferrari to win a race last year. The only [other car apart from Red Bull to win a race].

“They are the only ones, with regards to the rear suspension, who have got this pull rod.

“They have gone in their own direction with it.

“Mercedes have moved to the same sort of suspension set-up that Red Bull have got. Most of the teams have gone that way.

“You hope for his sake that they haven’t gone down an engineering cul-de-sac.

“Proof will be in the racing.

“I think he’s risking a lot. But he will be incredibly well briefed about their plans for the future.

“The key will be: can he do a Schumacher?”

Hamilton, if he wins another F1 title, would eclipse Michael Schumacher as the sole record holder.

He will arrive at Ferrari whose pull rod suspension is a bold statement in the world of F1 engineering.

Mercedes ran a pull rod suspension last season but moved away from it, and will use a push rod this year.

The brave decision from Ferrari perhaps echoes Mercedes’ belief in their ‘zeropod’ concept - which ultimately failed. They have now left that behind too.

Hamilton will hope that Ferrari’s choice to go for a pull rod suspension is inspired.

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

“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.

“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.”

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