Ferrari 2.0 in Red Bull style? Charles Leclerc warns of update mania in Imola

Tension has been building in Formula 1 for weeks regarding Imola. Now it’s huge. It’s – of course – about Ferrari’s first major update package, of all things at the home race. Parts that are visually very reminiscent of the new Red Bull were carried out on the in-house test track in Fiorano a week ago and drove Italian media to the announcement of a “Ferrari SF-24 2.0”.

“It was for film purposes, not that we were testing anything special,” said Charles Leclerc, but cleverly dodged the hype on Thursday before Imola. The Fiorano test was one of the few permitted 200-kilometer film days. Ferrari had to spend a significant amount of that time on things that had nothing to do with performance. Since Miami, the team has had a new main sponsor on the car, HP. You need pictures and videos of this for marketing material.

Charles Leclerc at the Ferrari Film Day in Fiorano
The update Ferrari completed its first laps in Fiorano, photo: Massimo Pieri / @maxpieri

“We don’t have any real data yet,” reminds Leclerc. The Fiorano exit was little more than a functional check. “It was primarily in the simulator where we saw the first data and where we felt the first things that suggest further steps in the right direction. Now it’s just a matter of seeing these steps in reality.”

Charles Leclerc remains a realist in Imola: Don’t let yourself get carried away

Sure, the new side pods in particular with the extended upper lip and the hidden air inlet are strongly reminiscent of the RB20. Ferrari is only the second team to switch to this idea. And of course, Ferrari hasn’t made any significant updates to the car yet and has put all its resources into the Imola package.

The fact that McLaren – with a bit of luck – won a race in Miami with a large update package also makes it tempting to see the Ferrari update as a potentially big breakthrough. Leclerc counters: “I would be careful when it comes to what you see visually. And I wouldn’t get carried away by it or build up false expectations. That wouldn’t be good for us.”

Instead, Leclerc keeps the ball low for several weekends. First do the first training session and check the data. Then you can see whether they match the simulations. Then keep waiting: “We have to see how it works on other tracks with different characteristics. That will really tell us what the rest of the season will look like.”

What is particularly positive is that everything works on this year’s SF-24 platform. The big problems last year with tire wear, susceptibility to wind and the like have been resolved. Instead, the car is reliable. That’s what fuels Leclerc’s greatest hopes for the Imola update, which is also not a reaction to the last races – of course not, the lead time for such a package is too long: “It’s simply supposed to make the car better everywhere. “

Not only is the car new for Leclerc in Imola, but also his race engineer. For the first time in his Ferrari career, he doesn’t have Xavier Marcos Padros in his ear, but Bryan Bozzi. You can find out more about the change in engineering and its background here:

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