A day of filming, as if it were an on-track test, in the era of ‘closed-door’ testing, in the truest sense of the word, since teams isolate themselves in their own factories and test new developments in wind tunnels and simulators, is a rarity. Scuderia Ferrari has always been the ‘queen’ of on-track testing, making use of its two proprietary tracks, such as Fiorano and Mugello, which over the years have also been fundamental to the successes of the Prancing Horse.
With this possibility reduced and eliminated, in Maranello they make the most of the very few kilometers made available by the FIA, including the two filming days (totaling 200 km). Today, Frederic Vasseur’s team has decided to take advantage of the last one available for the 2023 Formula One season, meeting the needs of Enrico Cardile’s technical office, thus opening the Red Bull Ring weekend ahead of time.
Charles Leclerc on track with the new floor of the SF-23
As mentioned, this morning it was Carlos Sainz’s turn to take the first outing with his Ferrari SF-23, debuting the new front wing towards the end of the session, which has been revised in many of its components. In the afternoon, it was Charles Leclerc’s turn, who, like in Miami, had the task of ‘breaking in’ the new floor, after it was Carlos Sainz’s responsibility in Barcelona.
This is a novelty in one of the most influential macro components of this new generation of cars, designed to unlock further potential of this SF-23, a very temperamental car, especially in terms of race pace, and to help the technicians in Maranello determine if the development path they have taken is finally the correct one.
The work for the Monegasque driver began around 2:15 PM with an initial run to become ‘familiar’ with the SF-23 and Fiorano. Then the actual work of this afternoon began.
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The new floor features advanced Venturi ducts, taking inspiration from what has already been seen on the Red Bull RB19.
After significantly modifying the sidepod in the specification introduced in Spain, the floor that debuted today at Fiorano shows visible changes in the initial part, which is crucial and important for the entry of the Venturi tunnels. The side flow deflector, one of the floor fences as they are called in technical jargon by engineers, has been modified. If in Barcelona a ‘step’ was introduced on the rear part of this baffle, now the technicians in Maranello have taken a step back, returning to the single-step solution. From the first comparison photo, it can be noticed that the deflector is now much more angled to provide stronger protection to the underfloor from the turbulence generated by the front tires, as explained by F1 experts Piergiuseppe Donadoni & Paolo D’Alessandro for formu1a.uno.
In addition to that, significant modifications can be observed in the other ducts located at the entrance of the Venturi tunnels, which are now much more advanced compared to the previous specification and have a rounded leading edge, adopting solutions seen from those who set the standards in this area, namely Red Bull. It should be noted that Aston Martin, currently the second car in the pack, also features similar solutions in that area.