Ferrari has at least one indisputable strong point: pit stops: The Prancing Horse team, in the first two rounds of the 2023 Formula 1 season, which were very disappointing in terms of final results, took both in Bahrain and in Saudi Arabia the DHL Fastest Pit Stop Award (the fastest time was a 2”10 tire change in Jeddah), a clear sign that the excellent work done during the winter break by Diego Ioverno has paid off, after the repeated problems seen last year.
Supremacy. At least in one aspect the Scuderia has overtaken Red Bull Racing: it is the result of constant training by the two pit crews who in Maranello are preparing for the delicate moment of tire change, an operation that does not win races, but which conversely, when something doesn’t work right, can lead lo a win or a podium finish being lost.
The Ferrari mechanics already did the pit stop tests in the Melbourne pit lane on Thursday: nothing extraordinary, except that the Prancing Horse guys attracted attention because in the… push maneuver of the SF-23 they didn’t even grab to the rear wing, as is usually the case.
In fact, Giorgio Piola’s image for Motorsport Italy shows us two mechanics pushing the car on the rear tyres, while the third focused on the rear deformable structure. It was clear that the mechanics did not want to subject the single pylon of the rear wing to a force contrary to that which is normally applied with the aerodynamic load during the on track running, but this details, repeated in various pit stops, generated a lot of attention and discussions in the pitlane.
We must not forget that the design of the mono-pylon was rather tribulated: in the winter pre-season testing session at the Bahrain International Circuit, immediately after being assembled, the DRS control had broken on the only component available, so it was not tested.
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It went even worse in the first free practice session for the Bahrain Grand Prix: Ferrari were once again forced to remove a new beam wing from their car, this time because of excessive movement as it wobbled from side to side on Charles Leclerc’s SF-23. As a result of the rocking and its effect on performance, the Maranello team didn’t use it again for the remainder of the Bahrain weekend.
With the design error resolved, both SF-23 cars raced the mono-pylon rear wing in Jeddah without experiencing the slightest issue and in perfect safety. Seeing that in Australia the mechanics have taken all the precautions to avoid touching the rear wing has given rise to many speculations.
One fact is certain: the aggressive search for reducing weight has affected the construction of certain details which have now reached their limit (Red Bull had problems with the DRS for two years, so let’s not be surprised if the pit stop practice of the Ferrari car will also be closely monitored in the next few days at the Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne.