After Mercedes that changed the W14 in Monte Carlo, it’s up to Ferrari to give up its concept of bellies in the Spanish GP, to update the SF-23 with sloping sides.
The Scuderia intends to mitigate a very disappointing start to the season with the new configuration, with a red that seemed to be in the fight for the world championship with Red Bull and, instead, even finds itself in fourth place in the Constructors’ standings.
From the red we see the bellies with the upper digging disappear, which have characterized Ferraris in the last two years, that is to say since the regulation with ground effect cars was introduced. Just like the black arrow, the Cavallino single-seater also abjures his ideas and orients itself towards the concepts of the dominating Red Bull.
The side, therefore, declines towards the bottom with a sloping design to marry the down wash effect of the flows, while the SF-23 was born with an original concept in wash which was rejected by the lack of performance.
It must be said that to change the “dress” of the side, the technicians of the Racing Department also had to work on the cooling system: not so much on the radiators which remained in the same position, inclined forward, but on the passages of the ducts and the of some accessories.
Ferrari, therefore, adapts to the prevailing fashion in the hope of offering the two drivers, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz a car that is easier to set up and less difficult to drive: it’s not so much the peak of performance that is missing on the SF-23 (at each race he seems capable of being able to fight for pole position, even if there has only been one pole start in six races…), as well as stable behavior throughout the race, with sudden leaps in performance determined by a series of variables that the Cavallino technicians were unable to keep under control.
Ferrari SF-23, detail of the new sloping bellies
Photo by: George Piola
With the disappearance of the upper tank, the air vents so characteristic of Ferrari have also disappeared: the hot air from the radiators is now evacuated to the sides of the engine bonnet, following a scheme tested a bit by all those who have converted to sloping.
The profiles on the halo and the fins around the passenger compartment have also been revised, just as the cover that embraces the rear-view mirrors has been shortened, leaving them free in the outermost part. For now we have seen the Ferrari inside the garage so we have not yet been able to see the new fund in its entirety that marries the change in aerodynamic philosophy.
Ferrari SF-23, detail of the bottom for the Spanish GP
Photo by: Ronald Vording
The package includes a new front wing, while the rear suspension will not be seen: it seems that it was rejected by Charles Leclerc during the deliberation work. What was supposed to be a weapon to have a SF-23 capable of traveling with less ground clearance was canceled ahead of time.
In Maranello they are convinced that the change in aerodynamic philosophy allows the team to embark on a new path which could also be useful in gathering information on the 2024 car, the study of which has just begun with a model in the wind tunnel.