Ferrari Opts for Own “Innovative” F1 Suspension Design Over Red Bull-Style Switch

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Ferrari rejected Red Bull-style F1 suspension switch for own “innovation”

In the ongoing quest by competitors of Red Bull Racing to narrow the gap with the reigning world champions, a comprehensive examination has been undertaken to decipher the factors behind the exceptional performance of Red Bull’s RB20 from last season.

One aspect under scrutiny is Red Bull’s suspension setup, particularly its distinctive combination of pull-rod front and push-rod rear suspension. These configurations are perceived as pivotal components contributing to both superior ride quality and enhanced aerodynamic efficiency.

The pull-rod front suspension plays a crucial role in optimizing airflow around the front tire, while the push-rod rear setup presents opportunities to streamline the gearbox and manipulate the shape of the underfloor, thereby generating more downforce at the rear.

Ferrari Opts for Own "Innovative" F1 Suspension Design Over Red Bull-Style Switch
Ferrari Opts for Own “Innovative” F1 Suspension Design Over Red Bull-Style Switch (Credits: Reddit)

While it is anticipated that Mercedes will adopt a push-rod rear suspension for its upcoming W15, Ferrari has notably adhered to the pull-rod layout, a design it has maintained since the advent of the new ground-effect regulations.

Enrico Cardile, Technical Director at Ferrari, elucidated that the decision to persist with the pull-rod configuration was not borne out of ignorance towards alternative solutions. On the contrary, Ferrari meticulously evaluated the advantages and drawbacks of a push-rod layout for the rear suspension.

Cardile elaborated on Ferrari’s decision-making process, stating, “We experimented with a push-rod suspension for a couple of years. However, upon thorough analysis, we found that our rear suspension, while different from Red Bull’s layout, yielded commendable aerodynamic outcomes.

Transitioning from a pull-rod to a push-rod setup did not offer significant advantages that would warrant compromises in terms of weight or compliance. Consequently, we opted to evolve our suspension while retaining the same layout.”

Ferrari’s confidence in the efficacy of its pull-rod design is reinforced by its belief that the rear suspension configuration for the 2024 car represents a notable innovation in design.

In pursuit of a shorter gearbox—a chassis that is reportedly 5cm longer while maintaining the overall length of the car—the team ingeniously reconfigured its suspension setup.

The adjustments are evident in the accompanying images, where the pull-rod element has been noticeably repositioned forward compared to the previous year, likely aimed at enhancing compliance and increasing anti-squat characteristics.

Its alignment with the lower wishbone’s front leg and setback from the upper wishbone’s front arm underscore the meticulous engineering behind Ferrari’s suspension redesign.

Cardile highlighted the significant modifications made to the rear suspension, emphasizing that the team’s innovative approach represents a departure from past practices in managing inboard suspension components.

Furthermore, Cardile emphasized Ferrari’s steadfast commitment to its chosen suspension layout for the season, affirming that alternative options were not under consideration.

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