Changes were expected at Ferrari and so it is, at least on Thursday ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix. The cars are gradually appearing in their garages, with technicians busy assembling the latest pieces that are arriving from the factories. Work remains frenetic with the teams also making changes that are the result of data processing from the three-day test. This morning we saw Mercedes fit a new rear wing – awaiting comparative tests which will be carried out tomorrow with the two W14 cars – but the first innovations have also appeared on the Ferrari SF-23.
Ferrari SF-23: in the pits there is a beam wing for more downforce
On the final day of testing, Ferrari had brought a new rear wing specification, which arrived in time from Maranello to be tested. Unfortunately, the well-known problem with the DRS prevented the technicians from carrying out the scheduled work on the track. In the pits today, however, we saw another novelty in the rear area of the SF-23 single-seater.
The technicians led by Enrico Cardile validated a rear load modification for this first Grand Prix of the season. In fact, in the Bahrain pits we saw a new specific beam wing, more loaded than the one used in the tests and very similar to the one used last season on the F1-75. The team will therefore carry out tests tomorrow to establish the ideal load choice for the rear, with the aim of improving the stability of the SF-23. These changes could help regain some downforce but it will necessarily have to be optimized with the front, the real weak point of the new Ferrari car based on the data from the pre-season testing session in Sakhir, as confirmed by F1 experts Paolo D’Alessandro, Piergiuseppe Donadoni and Andrea Vergani for formu1a.uno.
Ferrari arrives in Bahrain aware that Red Bull remain the favourite for this start of the season, but ready to make the most of the first round of the championship: “In the tests we didn’t show all the performance that the SF-23 has but neither did Red Bull. We will only see on Saturday afternoon in qualifying.” – Charles Leclerc explained in his Thursday interview – “The analyzes of the tests have shown us that perhaps we are a little behind them”. The Monegasque certainly seemed less euphoric than his teammate, expressing a lot of caution, similar to what Fred Vassuer did at the start of the first weekend of the season. “The first race is a starting point for reaching our goal which is to win the world championship. If there’s more work to do because we’ll be behind, we’ll do everything to recover, if it’s more positive than we think, then even better.” concluded Charles Leclerc.
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“We haven’t yet managed to exploit the car to 100% in testing and it wasn’t even the goal given that in the first two days of testing we did a lot of data collection to understand if there was a correlation between what the car does and what we expected from the data gathered in Maranello. The results have been positive.” – said the Monegasque – “On the last day we focused a little more on the balance sheet and from that point of view there is still a bit of work to do but the feeling was good. There is a very strong Red Bull but it is only the beginning of the year and I’m sure we can do a great job.” – Charles Leclerc pointed out, ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix.