Scuderia Ferrari started the 2023 Formula 1 season weakly and finished strongly. Chief Technical Officer Enrico Cardile reveals in a recent interview for the German automobile magazine Auto Motor und Sport how the Maranello team identified the problem areas of the SF-23 and what improvements they plan to make with the next car in the 2024 Formula 1 campaign.
What was the idea behind the Ferrari SF-23, and how did the car evolve during the season?
Enrico Cardile: The 2023 car was a development of the 2022 car. We tried to address some weaknesses of the predecessor. Overall, we achieved our goals. The car behaved on the track as we had developed it and as the simulations promised. Unfortunately, we quickly realized that we would soon encounter limits with our development direction. From that moment, we reassessed the goals of aerodynamic development and gradually redirected them in a different direction. A first result could be seen at the Spanish Grand Prix with a new underbody and new sidepods. A second step followed in the same areas at the Austrian Grand Prix. However, we then reached the limits of the architecture of our car. The existing chassis does not allow certain changes. Therefore, the car for 2024 will be a restart. We stick to the goal we set after the initial assessment. But we had to recognize that we can only achieve this with a completely new car.
What is the precision of simulation tools when the smallest detail plays such an important role?
Enrico Cardile: “I am satisfied with the level of correlation we have achieved, whether it is CFD, wind tunnel, or the simulator…”
“They also help us understand. The most challenging part is finding a solution to the problems that arise. If you ask the right questions to your tool, you will get the right answers.”
What did the flat floor in Japan change in terms of driving characteristics?
Enrico Cardile: “It was an evolution of the floors we had introduced earlier in the season. All of them aimed to increase downforce in corners.”
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