Scuderia Ferrari has never been in contention to win the 2023 Formula 1 championship. However, for the past two races, it has been fighting for a race victory. At Monza, they tried, and in Singapore, they even succeeded. Much credit goes to the characteristics of the SF-23, which has adapted very well to the Asian circuit. The layout of Marina Bay has similarly highlighted a couple of key strengths of the red car: traction and the power unit. All of this was orchestrated effectively by the team led to success by the outstanding Carlos Sainz.
But Suzuka will be a different story. First of all, Red Bull won’t play second fiddle, although there are some doubts. We refer to the update of technical directive TD039, which regulates ground clearance checks more strictly. If, by any chance, the two RB19s had indeed used some “trickery” to circumvent the federation’s severity, then we might have some fun.
However, as Christian Horner, the team principal of the Milton Keynes team, has tried to anticipate, the scenario imagined by the competitors is unlikely to happen. Nevertheless, as far as the present context is concerned, Ferrari will have to demonstrate once again, in a decidedly more hostile environment, that the distance between the SF-23 and the reference plane (asphalt) will not adversely affect the performance of the Modena cars.
Describing this task as challenging is not unreasonable. This is because, in general, the Japanese circuit has a ride height undoubtedly higher than Singapore. In such a condition, Ferrari has shown in the recent past that it doesn’t maneuver very agilely, especially on tracks with high-speed, sweeping corners.
Although there was some improvement in qualifying at Silverstone, the setup didn’t work well in the Sunday race. The infamous tire degradation was present, forcing the red cars to limit their performance significantly by posting slower lap times. But Suzuka is just around the corner. The sports management has worked tirelessly to achieve this final step. A step that wouldn’t change the nature of the championship but would at least provide some answers to several unresolved questions.
Furthermore, before delving into the heart of the article, let’s emphasize an aspect that Ferrari still intends to leverage. We’re referring to the purely motor aspect, which, although it wasn’t considered all that important by most in Singapore, undoubtedly played a crucial role in turning the qualifying session into 25 points earned in one go.
Ferrari SF-23: Ready to Unleash a Fundamental Weapon in Singapore Again: Power Unit 066/10
At the Monza Grand Prix, the Prancing Horse replaced both power units with the latest updated version. It’s a power unit that doesn’t differ in any way in its components but rather in how they are used. We’ve discussed this point quite extensively in the past. Firstly, the overall efficiency of the hybrid system has been enhanced, adding a significant value. Secondly, the “smoothness” regarding the delivery of maximum power has granted several advantages. All of this is achieved through new software capable of optimizing the work of motor-generators and the battery pack.
Suzuka is a magnificent track, a classic layout, to be precise. In a performance context where, in addition to the aeromechanical factors discussed this morning, very demanding, the power unit plays an important role. For about 72% of the lap, the internal combustion engine will be pushed to full power. This is added to the extreme importance of the hybrid system, among the highest in the championship.
The MGU-K will recover approximately 3162 Kj, obtained from the kinetic energy dissipated by the cars during braking. Meanwhile, the energy recovery from the exhaust gas enthalpy discharge will allow the MGU-H to accumulate approximately 848 Kj. In total, by adding the valuable contribution of the motor generators, it reaches 4010 KJ per lap. This translates to around 4 seconds per lap, with a significant increase in top speed.
The mechanical stress related to the use of the transmission can be described as medium-low. The number of gear changes per lap is among the lowest in the championship. Furthermore, consumption, in general, should not pose any specific problems for the new-generation cars. However, considering the fierce competition to confirm themselves as the second force in the championship, in which various teams participate depending on the layout, it’s a value that Ferrari needs to keep an eye on because the PU 066/10 consumes quite a bit.
In the final analysis, the usual technical considerations. According to information gathered by the editorial team of FUnoanalisitecnica, Ferrari is eager to test the new management of the hybrid system in Suzuka as well. A track that will provide further important answers on energy recovery and hybrid energy usage. According to simulations conducted in Maranello, the technicians expect to reap excellent benefits from the latest measures, both in qualifying and in the race at the Suzuka circuit this weekend.
Source: Alessandro Arcari for FUnoanalisitecnica