Last weekend, after a three-week break, the world of Formula 1 fired up its engines again, competing in the Dutch GP. It was a return to normalcy that proved challenging for Ferrari, leading to one of their worst results in 2023. The drivers struggled to find the right feeling with the SF-23 (due to an unsuitable aerodynamic configuration), resulting in the team only achieving a fifth place with Sainz. It was a tough weekend that, in addition to the bitter taste, seems to have left a mark on the team, eager to redeem themselves starting with their home GP this weekend in Monza.
Following the Dutch debacle, the Prancing Horse aspires to regain competitiveness on the Italian track, which, in terms of characteristics, should favor the SF-23. This prediction, at least according to what was seen on Friday in Monza, seems to be confirmed. The two SF-23 cars performed well in both dry runs, with Carlos Sainz setting the best time of the day, and during the race pace simulation. For now, these data suggest that the Maranello team might be able to play the role of the second force on the field, aiming for the podium and even hoping to challenge Red Bull for something more significant.
Over the weekend, in the Autodromo paddock, Fred Vasseur, the boss of the Scuderia, spoke to Sky Sport F1’s microphones after the team principal’s press conference. First and foremost, the Frenchman talked about the immense passion displayed by fans towards the entire team, not only during the Italian three-day event but also throughout the entire week, even at the factory in Maranello.
“We spent the whole week downplaying the situation, saying we need to focus on our work without being influenced by the atmosphere, but it’s impossible. It’s not only impossible in Monza, but even with the fans outside the factory. You feel the passion, and when you arrive here, it’s enormous. Even if we didn’t achieve the desired results, the tremendous support from the fans gives us an exceptional boost in the team.”
This passion represents an advantage for the team, which, upon closer inspection, might also get some satisfaction during the home weekend by leveraging the similar characteristics between the Stradale and the SF-23, as the car appeared to be performing well right from the start in Monza.
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!
“Even though we didn’t get what we hoped for at Zandvoort, and we didn’t perform well, Monza is the opposite. It requires speed, there’s little downforce, and different tire compounds. We are in relatively good conditions, and we need to focus on this weekend.”
Finally, the manager from France set the Maranello team’s goal: he would sign for a podium, even though their ambition aims for something more: “I would say no, but I think it would still be a good result.”