The most awaited car has finally arrived. Ferrari unveiled its new single-seater, called the SF-23, in the late morning of today, with which it will race in the 2023 Formula 1 World Championship to try to bring the world titles back to Maranello after 16 and 15 years respectively from the last won (2007 and 2008) .
A presentation from other times, for Ferrari. With the new Red that immediately made its debut on the track, at Fiorano, taking advantage of the 7 laps on the short track, covering the kilometers allowed by the FIA international sporting code as regards the Shakedown. The first to enter the track was Charles Leclerc, followed by Carlos Sainz Jr.
The SF-23 is a very important single-seater for the Prancing Horse manufacturer. Not only because it is the first under the guidance of the new team principal Frédéric Vasseur – who, however, has found everything ready due to the work directed by Mattia Binotto in 2022 – but also because after what was shown last year, this year will have the task to do better.
Don’t be fooled by first glance: the SF-23 is not a revolution, but a highly sought-after evolution, a piecemeal take on the F1-75. If overall it is not surprising for completely changed forms, analyzing it section by section there are many innovations compared to the recent past.
The first big change starts from the nose, now less pointed and, above all, anchored to the second element of the front wing. The grip under the Prancing Horse logo remains on the muzzle, but it is no longer NACA. On the other hand, the cantilevered profiles on the vertical bulkheads have been modified, now positioned higher up and with a more sinuous shape.
Moving on to the central wall of the car, two blowouts appear next to the side protections of the driver’s head, clearly visible from the photos taken from behind the single-seater. Presumably the vent that passes the air could have been opened in the halo area.
And the halo itself presents a novelty, with the addition of a small airfoil on the top. The airscope has remained almost the same as last year, while the bonnet has been slightly modified.
The bellies are interesting, which maintain the same concept as the F1-75 but present several new features. The first is the trend of the bodywork towards the rear, with the clear intention of bringing the air flows towards the beam wing, but without exploiting the solution adopted by Red Bull last season and adopted by almost all the teams – except Haas … – in this 2023.
The slits always change on the bellies. The F1-75 had a very nice and well done, but fixed row of vents. To close the cuts on the bodywork it was necessary to apply a panel under the bodywork, while this year it will be different. There are 5 fixed slots in the horizontal part of the bellies, distinguishable because they are not colored (they are carbon black) just behind the mouth of the bellies.
The rest of the openings are located on two panels, one on each side: this suggests that, depending on the temperatures encountered in the various events, Ferrari may have components with a varied number of slots, so as to choose the most suitable one race by race.
The suspension maintains the philosophy of the F1-75: front push-rod and rear pull-rod. Ferrari has worked to increase the vertical load of the single-seater, but also the one lost due to the modification of the regulation to try to decrease the effect of porpoising seen above all in the first part of last season. In all of this, the work done to find the balance desired by the team was fundamental, as was the completely redesigned suspension.
The suspensions have been revised for aerodynamic reasons, but also to try to improve the adjustment capabilities on the track. The front one, above all, has undergone the most evident changes, switching to a configuration with a low track road precisely for aerodynamic reasons.
As far as the livery is concerned, even on the SF-23 carbon black has a greater incidence than last season. The wings remain uncoloured, except in the external part of the lateral appendages. The entire external part of the muzzle becomes black, up to the passenger compartment, as well as the fin of the engine hood. The bellies take up the motif of the Scuderia Ferrari clothing, with two black inserts where the sponsor Ceva Logistics finds space.
Compared to last year, as mentioned, the vertical bulkheads of the wings are partially colored red. This year, however, the tricolor will find space on the fin of the bonnet, right next to the race numbers of the two drivers and just above the sponsor Santander. Dulcis in fundo, the Ferrari name is back on the rear wing, as it did on the celebratory livery used by the Scuderia last year for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. The difference, however, is the colour: on that occasion the color yellow was used. This time, however, it will be white. It is also very important to note that the red is less dark than last year. In fact, the shade is brighter.
Frédéric Vasseur, making his debut as Ferrari team principal, said: “For sure we will push with both drivers from Bahrain, but the most important thing is Ferrari. Ferrari has priority. Ferrari must win. I must not be happy because they are here. We, Ferrari must win. We are happy to be back on track shortly, we must be happy with the work done. It will be a really long season, but we will have to do well in terms of performance.”
“The engine is very performing, but we know that reliability was certainly not the strong point. But we did a great job at the factory to improve this aspect. Last year we had a very small window on which to rely to take advantage of the engine. This year we’ve worked to make sure we can make the most of it.”
No news regarding the pilots. Confirmed Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr. The first will begin his fifth season as a driver of the Prancing Horse, while the Spaniard will be in his third year in Maranello. The ambitions are the same: to win the World Cup. Red Bull and Mercedes permitting.
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