Down from second to fourth in F1’s pecking order, former Ferrari engineer Luigi Mazzola says something has gone “wrong” in the SF-24’s development, and he believes it’s the new floor.

Losing ground to McLaren in the fight to be best of the rest when the Woking team put a ‘2.0’ MCL38 on the track in Miami, Ferrari replied with an extensive upgrade of their own at Imola.

New Spanish GP floor has ‘damaged’ the Ferrari SF-24

It, however, fell short of McLaren’s gain and, after Mercedes put a “eureka” front wing on the W15 in Monaco, Ferrari accelerated their latest batch of upgrades in a bid to stop the steady decline.

But putting a new floor, as well as other parts, on the car at the Spanish Grand Prix, Ferrari instead re-introduced porpoising and have struggled to match the pace of Mercedes, never mind Red Bull or Ferrari.

Although Carlos Sainz did secure a third-placed result at the Austrian Grand Prix, he benefitted from the crash involving race leader Max Verstappen and P2’s Lando Norris to gain two easy spots.

Mazzola, a former Ferrari engineer, is concerned that the new floor has in fact “damaged” the SF-24

“Ferrari is again the fourth force, clearly something went wrong in the developments,” said the Sky analysis.

“The porpoising issue reappeared in the fast corners. This new floor has damaged the car: it has provided more aerodynamic load, but it’s not a genuine load that can be exploited.

“The solution? If the floor causes porpoising, you have to raise the car or stiffen it, but if you do that, you lose downforce. So, in fact, you have more load, but you can’t use it.”

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Since Charles Leclerc’s victory in Monaco, Ferrari have scored just 39 points while McLaren have amassed 84 and Mercedes have brought in 100.

Team boss Fred Vasseur stopped short of speaking about an “issue” that Ferrari are facing.

“The word issue is a big one,” he told the media including PlanetF1.com.

“[In qualifying] when we arrived at Turn 3, we were one-tenth in advance on Norris. It means that if we close the lap – and I know that we have to close the lap – I think the perception of this is completely different.

“But for sure, even when you get pole position and even when you win the race, you have issues on the car. If you don’t have an issue, you are at the beginning of the end.

“With their driving styles and so on, they can have different [issues]. But we changed the car massively between Saturday morning and Saturday afternoon and I think it was better.

“We changed a little bit the weakness of the car from corner to corner, but I think overall, we are there.”

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