Ferrari’s F1-75 package from 2022 packed impressive downforce levels with its highly sculpted sidepods that feed a high level of air flow into the vital floor and Venturi tunnels underfloor groundeffect cars need to work well to be fast, but it suffered on the straights compared to the slippery, effective Red Bull RB18.
That car continued to dominate the 2022 championship and Ferrari’s formidable challenge first came and the Scuderia’s new 2023 contender – the SF-23 – is designed to better Red Bull in the aerodynamic efficiency stakes.
Ferrari is trialling different wing packages during the Bahrain pre-season test which is due to conclude soon and the SF-23 is being tracked performing well on GPS tracks compared to the RB19 down the long stretches of the track, and seems to have an edge at the RB19. in high speed corners – with the caveat that teams usually run in lower engine power modes or with heavy fuel loads set during a test run.
When asked by Autosport if Ferrari’s design philosophy has changed the feel of the car package for its drivers, Leclerc replied: “It has. I won’t go into too much detail, but I think that was done the right way.
“And I think we have a less draggy car, so it should be better this year. But he changed other characteristics.
“In line with what we expected, but we still need to find the right setup for these new features.”
Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23
Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
Speaking at the lunch break press conference on the final day of the Bahrain test, Leclerc said he expected us to be “a bit quicker in the straights, maybe we’ll struggle a bit more in the corners” as a result of. the design changes, including a skinnier rear wing package.
This was an area that Ferrari worked hard to adjust early in the 2022 campaign as it battled Red Bull during the opening races of that season before losing ground due to a series of major problems.
These included no longer running the team’s engine at full power and therefore not going fast enough to overcome the added drag of the down-packing F1-75 design, another key area that Ferrari is working to address. call it during the season reset.
“With this three-day test I can say that we are still working a little bit on the track to find the sweet spot of the car in terms of setup,” concluded Leclerc of Ferrari’s new machine.
“So hopefully there’s still some margin – we haven’t found the sweet spot yet.”