Technical: How Ferrari chased performance gain in Melbourne

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Ferrari has not only left Melbourne as the surprise winner of the Australian Grand Prix, but the Scuderia was the only top team to introduce an upgrade in Round 3 of the 2024 F1 season. F1Technical's senior writer Balázs Szabó reflects on teams' developments at the Australian Grand Prix.


Following a difficult season in 2023, Ferrari have come back in a much stronger position this year, having established themselves as the second-quickest team behind the dominant Red Bull. The Scuderia have produced a car that is less wind-sensitive than its predecessor while the SF-24 has a more stable aero map that enables the drivers Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc to look after the tyres more than last year.

In Australia, Ferrari have debuted a modified rear wing assembly. The rear wing pylon that supports the DRS mechanism was equipped with two tiny winglets at its base. Having taken an impressive one-two finish in Australia, the team noted that the two winglets are not specific to the aerodynamic efficiency requirements of the Albert Park track, and will therefore make an appearance at later races of the season. This minor update offers a small increase of local aerodynamic load.


Having struggled for one-lap pace so far this season, Alpine showed flashes of improving speed in Australia. Esteban Ocon managed to get himself through into Q2 and was on course to take the team's first point in the race, but an unplanned pit stop triggered by a stuck visor tear-off meant that he slipped down the order.

The French-team plans to introduce key modifications to its car to boost their chances in the second half of the season, but they have already brought a circuit-specific upgrade to Melbourne. A new single-element beam wing made debut in Melbourne that generates less downforce and drag than the biplane assembly due to the removal of the upper element.

Aston Martin

Although Aston Martin displayed eye-catching speed at the dawn of last season, they have established themselves as the fifth-quickest team so far in 2024. The Silverstone-based outfit seems to be unable to relieve that moment from 2023, having fallen behind Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes.

In Australia, the British outfit has introduced a modified front wing. The new version is optically only a slight modification as it only sports a revised upper flap. However, the revised twist distribution leads to a significant change in the loading distribution across the entire span of the front wing with the team searching for an improved overall balance.


Williams had a very difficult race weekend in Australia. While the performance level of their FW-46 was similar to the opening two races, Alexander Albon's heavy shunt in Free Practice 1 meant that the team completed the rest of the weekend with a single car.

The Grove-based team debuted a modified rear brake duct and winglets in Melbourne. The exit scoop of the rear brake duct has changed in size.

Moreover, the team also altered the length, position and camber of the winglet cluster that sits below the duct exit so that the whole system works correctly together. The team's engineers hope that the "revised scoop/winglet system offers a small increase in local load and also has a small effect to the local flow field. The additional load is efficient relative to any drag change and the net result is a higher vertical load on the rear tyres."


RB has had an eventful season so far. While Yuki Tsunoda showed flashes of great speed in qualifying team, he was unable to challenge for points in Melbourne and Jeddah. However, the Japanese driver managed to finish the Australian Grand Prix in P7, taking a valuable haul of four points.

The Faenza-based squad introduced a new specification of rear wing down under in Australia. Compared to the opening race in Bahrain, the new configuration sports redesigned wing profiles that should improve corner profiles and hence lead to greater efficiency on straights.

Following the pre-season testing and opening races, RB's engineers have identified some key issues with the VCARB01, and the team's aim it to reduce overall drag and weight of their 2024 car. The new medium-load rear wing that made its debut in Australia was the first step to reduce the drag level of the VCARB01.

Kick Sauber

Kick Sauber has had a nightmare season so far in 2024. The outright pace of their car is on par with the performance level of their direct rivals, but their severe pit stop delays meant that they have been unable to display their real race speed.

For Australian, the Hinwil-based squad brought a new front wing which sported a modified endplate and redesigned third and fourth wing elements. The team said that aim with the new front wing was to improve the car's overall aerodynamic efficiency.

Red Bull, Mercedes, McLaren and Haas have not introduced any new parts in Melbourne.