Ferrari’s complicated plan to get closer to the best

04/11/2023 at 11:42


The performance of the SF-23 has been increasing, but the results are still not coming

Vasseur is committed to being faithful to his concept: “We cannot change the plan much”

They were promised to be very happy in Maranello, but Ferrari is starring in one of the most complicated season starts since the 2009 season.

At the last Grand Prix, the Australian GP, ​​the ‘Scuderia’ took a step forward in terms of performance, but on Sunday they left Melbourne with two zeros. the bad luck of Sainz and of leclerc It is probably the worst companion to the Italian firm’s concept and performance problems.

The most successful team in the history of the Formula 1 It is right now, after three Grand Prix, in fourth place in the constructors’ world championship, light years behind its competitors: Red Bull, Aston Martin and Mercedes. There are two factors that are weighing down this season for the Italian firm: performance problems and bad luck.

In Maranello the machinery smokes trying to improve the car at forced marches. The new soil they tested in the Saudi Arabian GP and in the of Australia It has given good results in one lap. In addition, they have more downforce, something that should help improve top speed and tire maintenance. However, we will have to wait for more conventional circuits to really see the level of wear they suffer, they have worked very well on urban circuits such as jeddah or the one of Albert Park.

Another aspect to take into account is that the Ferrari He suffers especially in the race. In clean air the performance of the car is quite good and they have had great results within one lap. Without going any further, in the first two Grand Prix they managed to enter the top 3. In the race, on the other hand, the SF-23 has nothing to do with its direct rivals.

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Carlos Sainz it is clear. For him, the problem is conceptual and the current distances are insurmountable if rope is not collected: “When someone has an advantage as big as Red Bull, it is confirmed that it is a problem of concept. That Red Bull has succeeded and we have not“. Besides, Vasseurthe head of Ferrariremember that they are tied hand and foot and that they cannot afford to take a 360º turn with the season started.

You always have a development plan before the season and then you react based on the competitiveness of the car.. We took action very quickly, we brought improvements to Melbourne and we will continue to do so. But we can’t change the plan much. I will not say that there is no point in starting from scratch but it is very difficult with the restrictions in the wind tunnel. The improvements of Barcelona will arrive in Ímola. But you can’t make much bigger changes“, it states Vasseur, lamenting the lack of freedom they enjoy in this regard. However, she is optimistic and faithful to the idea that they have developed throughout the winter: “We also have the feeling, and I hope we are right, that there is a lot of room for improvement in this car. As long as we can develop it to score more points, it will be worth pushing in this direction.“.

Bad luck, the Ferrari cross

Even though that him SF-23 It is not the best car on the grid and it has a lot to envy the leading teams, there is another factor that is weighing down this season for the Scuderia. Ferrari is signing one of the worst season starts in its history and, without going any further, both Sainz and Leclerc left Melbourne without scoring.

The Spanish pilot received a sanction for touching Fernando Alonso at the last restart of the race. 5 second penalty which, with the grid fully compressed, they sent him out of the points. Although he has appealed the decision of the FIAIt remains to be seen how this soap opera will end. For now, he is fifth in the world championship with 20 points.

The panorama of Charles Leclerc, for his part, is much more bleak. At the moment, she has only managed to score in the Saudi Arabian GPa race in which he started with a 10-position penalty, while the reliability problems of the SF-23 have forced him to retire in two Grands Prix. Two zeros out of three possible races that have relegated him to tenth position with only six points in his backpack.

In Ferrari They have until the end of the month to try to take another small step forward with the car. On April 28 the ‘Great Circus’ will land in Azerbaijan and the Scuderia will try to put an end to the losing streak and get hooked on the fight for the title to defend their current runner-up position tooth and nail.