Even in Miami, venue for the fifth round of the 2023 Formula 1 World Championship, Ferrari proved not to be fast enough not only to compete with the currently elusive Red Bull RB19s of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, but also for the podium with Aston Martin .
In Florida, Ferrari launched a new fund with a different concept than the one used up to Baku. This, however, is expected to provide convincing answers starting from Imola, when Ferrari will combine it with other innovations with which it has been designed to work best.
Meanwhile, what the Scuderia continues to underline is the inconstancy of performance of the SF-23s between one stint and another, between one set of compounds and another but, above all, between one lap and another. Perhaps this is the aspect that most worries the Maranello engineers, who have to take note of a positive lap by their drivers and, inexplicably, a negative one the next. And so on, without interruption.
After Miami, the Ferrari team principal – Frédéric Vasseur – placed the accent precisely on the fickleness of the times that afflicted the Reds in Miami, but also in the 4 rounds that preceded the US one.
“Overall it was a difficult weekend and a complex race, because on Saturday our pace was decent, but we still didn’t manage to put everything together and in the race things went pretty much the same way: the first stint went quite good for Carlos, who lost a couple of seconds (from the leaders) in the first third of the race, but then gained 25″ in the following two thirds. We were too erratic from car to car, from lap to lap. We need to understand why.”
Laurent Mekies, Sporting Director, Scuderia Ferrari, Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal and General Manager, Scuderia Ferrari
Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
It must be said that Carlos Sainz Jr. did indeed lose a few seconds to the leader Sergio Perez in the first part of the race, but the reference car for performance throughout the race was the Red Bull RB19 which bears the number 1 on its nose, that of Max Verstappen, who won the race recovering from ninth position. Therefore, the values of the gap between Perez and Sainz must also be read with caution and without forgetting which car was to be compared with.
Vasseur then went on to talk about the different behavior that the SF-23s denote in the various stages of the tender. Sainz did fairly well with the Mediums, in the first stint, while with the same compounds Charles Leclerc was in trouble all the time, underlining on several occasions how he was unable to get the car to turn even due to a very small window of use of the tires due to the current characteristics of the Ferrari.
“It’s not just a question of the race, because we went well in some stages of the race. Once again in the first stint with the medium-sized tires, Carlos lost 5″ in 18 laps. I think this stage of the race has been good for us.”
“For Charles, on the other hand, it was the opposite: in some stages of the second stint with the hards he appeared to be in good shape, because in the first part of the race with the Mediums he had struggled much more. But we really have to focus on inconstancy, because for us it is fundamental”.
“It’s at that precise point where we have to take a step forward. With Charles we were more performing on the hard tyres, with Carlos we were much better on the medium tyres. And even with the same tires from one lap to the next we don’t have the same consistency of performance and performance”, concluded the Ferrari team principal.