Ferrari has introduced a new sidepod design for their SF-23, taking inspiration from the Red Bull RB19.
This change is part of a series of upgrades aimed at eliminating the aerodynamic issues plaguing the team’s performance.
The “bathtub” inwash solution has been a part of Ferrari’s design since the car’s launch in 2022, but with other teams adopting this concept, Ferrari has decided to follow suit and adopt a more efficient design that closely resembles their rivals.
Nuevos pontones y tapa motor para el Ferrari. Más túnel y mejor empaque zona radiadores. Da la sensación que tiene más pendiente hacia abajo— Albert Fabrega (@AlbertFabrega) June 1, 2023
New sidepods and engine cover for Ferrari. More under tunel and better packaging on cooling area. Seems more downwash than previous#f1 pic.twitter.com/0oiGdG6UoY
The new sidepods not only improve packaging towards the rear but also enhance the cooling channels within the car.
Along with the sidepod changes, Ferrari has also upgraded the floor, marking a significant departure from their previous design.
Both Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc have expressed caution regarding the impact of these upgrades on lap times, but the team is hopeful that these changes will help address issues related to peaky aerodynamics and tyre degradation.
What the Upgrades Are Meant to Improve
Ferrari’s upgrade package for the Spanish Grand Prix goes beyond simply increasing the peak performance of their Formula 1 car.
Despite being the second-fastest team on average, Ferrari has only managed one podium finish this season and currently sits fourth in the championship standings.
The team is targeting a more consistent platform with increased downforce, though they acknowledge that there is still “big room for improvement” in performance.
The upgrades include revisions to the floor and sidepods, but not as dramatic a change as Mercedes’ switch from small, narrow sidepods to a more conventional downwashing design.
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc has stated that these upgrades are not expected to produce “big miracles” but should help the team be more consistent throughout the weekend, hopefully leading to better results on race day.
Ferrari plans to introduce further upgrades in the next two or three races, with team boss Fred Vasseur emphasizing that the car’s base will remain the same.
Leclerc’s Thoughts on the Upgrades and the Team’s Struggles
Charles Leclerc has said that Ferrari is not expecting “big miracles” from the upgrades introduced at the Spanish Grand Prix.
While the team has been competitive in qualifying, their SF-23 car has struggled to maintain that same speed during races. Leclerc and teammate Carlos Sainz have both commented on the car’s unpredictable behavior over race stints, making it difficult to push the limits of the vehicle.
Leclerc is hopeful that the upgrades will not only improve performance but also provide the drivers with a more consistent platform to work with.
The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, known for being a good track to evaluate a car’s capabilities, will be an important test for these upgrades. Leclerc believes that understanding and addressing the team’s weaknesses is crucial and that the Spanish Grand Prix will provide the opportunity to assess whether the upgrades are moving in the right direction.