There is still a festive atmosphere within the Ferrari Racing Department and many of the employees are still on vacation, even if work in the Maranello factory has never been interrupted. The presentation of the 675 (the project code for the 2023 Formula One single-seater) is set for February 14, so there is still time, but as new parts arrive ready, the pre-assembly of the car continues and gives the mechanics a first opportunity to also check how effective the assembly tools are.
Until now there has been talk of Ferrari working on refining the aerodynamics around the concept of hollow sidepods seen on the F1-75, but the Maranello technicians have worked hard with a very specific objective: to arrive with the new car below the minimum weight limit that the FIA has lowered this year by two kilos, dropping to 796 kg.
If Red Bull RB18 and Mercedes had started the 2022 Formula 1 season with cars a lot above the permitted weight (between 13 and 18 kg), Ferrari had a lower delta with the F1-75 which allowed the F1-75 to have a small lead at the start of the season that was marked by the introduction of the ground effect cars.
In 2023 there will be an attempt to realign the values and the world champion team has already made it known that it has a chassis which is about 3 kg lighter than the one that ended the 2022 Formula 1 season and, most likely, it will be the one which was already approved since last summer and has already passed the crash tests. Red Bull then realized it did not need to use it last year, as Max Verstappen’s second world championship was not at all in question in the second part of the season..
Ferrari has revised every detail in an attempt to gain a few grams from every detail of the car and it should come as no surprise if the single-seater designed by Enrico Cardile were to drop below the 796 kg to allow for a better balance to be identified, which should also mean better tyre management, which was one of the key issues of the F1-75 in terms of race pace:
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“We will only have confirmation when the car is assembled – explained a source from Maranello, according to Motorsport Italy – “In the project targets there is the idea of building a lightweight single-seater, but then the answers will only be found when we put the Formula 1 car on the scales”.
On paper, albeit with difficulty, the result should be achieved: Frederic Vasseur, the new team principal who will be active from next Monday, should find himself with a car underweight, just like last year’s Alfa Romeo C42, which at that stage was the only Formula 1 car that was below the limit thanks to a particularly light floor.