Work in progress. Scuderia Ferrari must make a change in the 2023 Formula One world championship after three races in which the poor results and performances were a lot more than the positive aspects and were indeed difficult to accept given the high expectations before the start of the championship. In Maranello, action is being taken on two fronts: transforming the SF-23 from ‘an ugly duckling into a swan’ and attracting new team members in the Racing Division, capable of bringing enthusiasm and, above all, fresh ideas.
Two complicated tasks to complete, just like the review requested to the FIA on the 5-second penalty given the Australian Grand Prix race stewards to Carlos Sainz after the collision with the Aston Martin of Fernando Alonso at the restart following the red flag. To obtain a positive result it is necessary to bring new significant and relevant elements useful to change a verdict which according to the FIA regulation would be unappealable.
In order to defend its driver, Ferrari has thrown itself into a seemingly dead end, but in Maranello they are convinced that they have found a new element that could reopen the case. In the Racing Division they preferred that no stone be left unturned to support Carlos Sainz and with courage they threw themselves into this new battle in which they also put Ferrari’s political power to the test.
But the main expectations are focused on the evolution of the SF-23 car. Frederic Vasseur, speaking to the press on Wednesday, was keen to point out that the single-seater will not be a B version of the SF-23, limiting himself to saying that the modifications that were initially planned for Barcelona have been brought forward to the previous GPs, as if they were part of a normal development process.
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After having promised to battle for the Formula 1 title when taking on the role of Ferrari tea principal, Frederic Vasseur does not want to raise useless hopes, but is confident that from the beginning of the European season, facts will speak more than comments. After betting on the 2023 F1 car potential which, so far, has not been seen, he prefers to have a more cautious approach, expecting answers from the technical group led by Enrico Cardile.
In reality, Ferrari is making the maximum effort to try to save a championship: while waiting for reinforcements to arrive, the role of Head of Vehicle Concept vacated by the outgoing David Sanchez would have been entrusted to an internal figure. We are referring to Fabio Montecchi, the Italian engineer who last year was appointed Chief Project Engineer. A very expert technician in the field of chassis and suspension, he is one of the key men in Enrico Cardile’s current staff.
He is working side by side with Diego Tondi who is the head of aerodynamics to bring to the track a series of innovations that we will be gradually seen on the SF-23 challenger until the Spanish Grand Prix, when the Prancing Horse fans will have a vision of the Ferrari car which will be called upon to improve at least to the role of second fastest car on the track, in the hope of getting back on the hunt for the elusive Red Bull cars at least for the second part of the season.
The changes to the floor, as well as the diffuser, the rear suspension and the shape of the sidepods imply a profound revision of the initial project, correcting the errors of the SF-23 and starting from a setup, the Australian one, which indicated a possible development path to bring out the potential of the 2023 red F1 car that has so far remained untapped.