There is only one Ferrari in the second free practice session for the 2023 Formula 1 British Grand Prix, but it shows great speed on the dry lap. The downforce installed on the Italian car is lower than that of Red Bull. However, the SF-23 car performs very well in high-speed corners and holds its own in the more technical sections. But there is still work to be done, given the difficult tire management during high-fuel runs.
This factor, if not resolved on Sunday during the race, will lead to significant degradation of the SF-23. Alternatively, it will force the Ferrari drivers to maintain a pace below their potential to manage tire wear. In both cases, it is a limiting aspect. The night spent in the simulator could be decisive in this regard.
Charles Leclerc’s absence in FP2 is not good. The double feedback on the further modified aerodynamic package with the new beam wing, an interesting technical direction in which the engineers of the Prancing Horse propose a very original interpretation, was necessary. But reliability failed, and only today, at 12:30, will Charles be able to test car number 16 in the final session before qualifying.
British GP 2023/Telemetry Analysis FP2: Red Bull does not maximize the setup
Let’s start today’s discussion by examining what happened in the session that brought Carlos Sainz just 22 milliseconds behind Max Verstappen’s car, the fastest driver on the British Friday. As we have already explained in the performance analysis, the performance of Ferrari and Red Bull on the push lap was comparable.
However, by carefully analyzing the comparison made by the editorial team of the Italian website FUnoanalisitecnica, we can see through the study of micro sectors that the Maranello car shows a clear dominance at various points on the track that unfolds in the beautiful English countryside of Northamptonshire.
This data makes us reflect because, considering the potential of the Austrian single-seater, it is evident that the Dutchman could not achieve maximum performance. For this reason, the technicians in Milton Keynes will have to be skilled in making the setup effective to offer better lap times, especially in cornering.
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British GP 2023/Telemetry Analysis Sector 1: Ferrari shines at Abbey
The first sector of Silverstone takes shape with an extremely rapid change of direction that ground-effect cars can almost navigate flat out. In this precise section, the Spanish driver of Ferrari maintains an average speed that is 3 km/h higher than the reigning world champion. Up to turn 3, the red car continues to gain, showing a mid-corner speed that is a remarkable 8 km/h higher than that of the Red Bull.
Regarding the following section of the circuit, the men in red will have to carefully study the performance of the SF-23 in turn 4 and review their trajectories. The reason is quickly explained since the Maranello car loses 12.5 km/h in cornering compared to the RB19 of the Dutchman, a larger gap than what we have encountered.
The “slowness” expressed in this point also has a negative impact on the speed at the end of the next straight. The Spanish driver loses almost 3 km/h, although in other parts of the track, the top speed matches that of the RB19. This means that the disadvantage accumulated in this moment is due to a misinterpretation of the corner called “the Loop.”
British GP 2023/Telemetry Analysis Sector 2: Red Bull doesn’t take advantage of the greater downforce on the Ferrari
In the second sector, there are two more corners that are taken at medium speed, 6 and 7. Max Verstappen shows superior traction on the exit, confirming what was mentioned in the performance analysis. This is followed by a section that is taken at full throttle heading towards the Becketts complex. The first and second apexes are taken at full speed and then gradually decelerate, as explained by F1 experts Alessandro Arcari and Niccoló Arnerich for FUnoanalisitecnica.
At this point, the Ferrari driver gains approximately 2.3 km/h over the RB19, which, in theory, considering its setup and intrinsic characteristics, should dominate. Being slower in this section would be a sort of defeat, as the choice of greater downforce does not seem to have paid off. For this reason, Red Bull should still have something up its sleeve.
In the next corner, turn 13, the cars in question show equivalent cornering speeds, although the Ferrari delays its search for the apex. This factor, as seen earlier in the first sector, hampers the SF-23’s acceleration towards the next straight. These small fractions of a second could have led the Ferrari to set the fastest time on Friday.
British GP 2023/Telemetry Analysis Sector 3: Ferrari exploits better traction
We arrive at the third and final part of the English circuit, which is very important for achieving competitive lap times. The first corner encountered is a fast right turn that requires a lot of aerodynamic downforce. In this particular section, the driver of the red car manages to gain an impressive 4 km/h over Verstappen’s RB19.
This allows the Ferrari driver to have a superior acceleration towards the stretch leading to turn 16. In the last chicane of the English layout, the difference between the cars is negligible. However, in terms of traction, it is the Ferrari that pulls away towards the finish line. We can see a smoother telemetric curve compared to the Red Bull’s trace. These minimal differences can have an impact on the final result.