The second race of the 2023 Formula 1 season saw the introduction of the first updates for Scuderia Ferrari, a clearly opposite approach to the one seen last season. In Saudi Arabia, on the SF-23 the rear wing with the single support pylon tested in Bahrain returned, this time coupled to a low-load beam-wing. On the Ferrari car there were also some small adjustments to the floor and a new front wing. The Maranello team therefore wasted no time, bringing some updates that show the evolution of the SF-23’s weaknesses in this start of the 2023 Formula One championship.
Fast track, high downforce wing
The most important update was the return of the wing tested in FP1 at the Bahrain Grand Prix, that had shown evident fixing problems, which have apparently been resolved. The single support pylon represents a more aerodynamically efficient configuration than the double support, but the key element of interest is the main profile. In fact, the wing generates a higher level of downforce than the specification fitted in Bahrain, despite the Jeddah one being a medium-low downforce track. It could be argued that the single-pillar wing was not yet ready to be used at Sakhir, but Ferrari still had other high-downforce wings inherited from the F1-75 available. The impression is that in Bahrain the Ferrari suffered from obvious problems with balance and understeer, which prevented the Italian side from increasing the load on the rear so as not to make things even worse. The debut of the new high-downforce wing on a highly efficient and, above all, limiting front axle track suggests that Maranello has worked to improve the balance of the SF-23, both through set-ups and other updates.
Also at the rear, a new beam-wing made its debut on the SF-23 car in Saudi Arabia. This is an even lower-downforce specification than the one used in the tests in Bahrain, which in turn has less load compared to the one used in the Sakhir race. Ferrari has refined the upper profile of the beam-wing on the inside, reducing local aerodynamic drag. Nor should we overlook the impact on the performance of the floor, going minimally to weaken the extraction force of the diffuser.
New outwash front wing
In Jeddah the SF-23 is also equipped with the much anticipated new front wing. The aileron has been revised: the connection between the profiles and the external bulkheads of the endplates is carved to accentuate the outwash effect. The modification offers an outlet vent to the outward flows, in an attempt to exploit local vortices to mitigate the harmful turbulence generated by the tyres. The change does not alter the load released by the wing itself, but has repercussions on the aerodynamic structure that invests the entire car downstream and on the performance of the floor. Furthermore, other changes have been made to the floor along the outer edge, small updates that do not however distort the geometry.
Show your support for Scuderia Ferrari with official merchandise collection! Click here to enter the F1 online Store and shop securely! And also get your F1 tickets for every race with VIP hospitality and unparalleled insider access. Click here for the best offers to support Charles and Carlos from the track!
The introduction of the upgrades already at the beginning of the 2023 Formula One season demonstrates how the innovations at Ferrari had been in the pipeline for some time. The SF-23’s use of the high-load single-pylon wing seems to suggest that some of the balancing problems experienced in Bahrain have been fixed. The straight-line superiority of the red car will decrease or disappear completely, a price to pay, however, to have that precious load to manage the tires in the race.