Ferrari had looked to the qualifying session for the 2023 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix with a certain confidence: the Maranello team knew that the times in the final practice session were not relevant, because the best SF-23 car, that of Carlos Sainz, was only seventh. The Prancing Horse team gave up trying a flying lap when the track got more rubber, but the SF-23 had previously shown that it didn’t look bad in the qualifying simulation.
The feeling is that the Scuderia’s technicians have unlocked some of the potential that the car has, but which was not seen so far in Bahrain or Saudi Arabia. Ferrari found a way in terms of development updates that allowed them to use a clearly lower set-up (the car was seen producing sparks when the metal pad under the floor hit the ground) which allowed Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc to work with the mediums in a good race simulation, containing the appearance of graining resulting from low Australian temperatures.
The Scuderia continued to use the floor with the small curl in the trailing edge in front of the rear wheel that had been rejected in Jeddah: the engineers headed by Enrico Cardile worked to stiffen the floor. In Giorgio Piola’s image you can see the two tie rods: in addition to the external one, easily visible, at the end, you can see the smaller one halfway through the car. Two tools that have allowed Ferrari to run lower with less sensitivity to changes in terms of ride height.
Also very interesting is the carbon “cap” which was made to help the grip of the front brakes: those destined to bring the air for cooling the caliper and disc have not been closed, but rather the channel which introduces the air into the “lung” that forms between the internal and external brake ducts. To help the front tires get up to temperature, Ferrari didn’t try to keep the air cool to avoid overheating: with the low temperatures in Melbourne, the Prancing Horse men worked in the opposite direction…
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