04 Jun Frédéric Vasseur and SF-23 Make the Perfect Match
The most awaited car has finally arrived. Ferrari presented the SF-23, the new single seater, with which they will compete in the 2023 Formula 1 World Championship with the intent to bring home the world titles to Maranello 15 and 16 years after the last wins (driver and constructors in 2007 and constructors in 2008).
Ferrari’s new red single-seater made its debut on the track in Fiorano, taking advantage of the 7 laps on a short track, covering the kilometers allowed by the FIA international sporting code for Shakedown. The first to enter the track was Charles Leclerc.
The SF-23 is a very important single-seater for the Italian manufacturer, not only because it is under the direction of the new team principal, Frédéric Vasseur, who could only do so much since joining the team on January 3rd of this year and the car is a product of Mattio Binotto’s team in 2022. It is important because it can now reach its full potential without giving up mid-season like last year, now that the motor’s reliability issues are solved.
The SF-23 is not a revolution, but rather a highly sought-after evolution, a much-improved version of the F1-75, with many new features. The first big change is the nose, now less pointed and, above all, anchored to the second element of the front wing. The opening at the tip of the nose, below the Cavallino logo is no longer NACA. Additionally, the cantilever profiles of the vertical drifts have been modified, now placed higher and with a more sinuous shape. In the central part of the car, there are two slits to the side protections for the driver’s head, clearly visible in photos taken from behind the car.
Presumably, air ducts could have been opened in the halo area. The halo itself features a novelty, with the addition of a small airfoil at the top. The visor is almost the same as last year, while the hood has been slightly modified. The side vents are constantly changing.. The F1-75 had one row of fixed vents. To close the slits in the body, it was necessary to place a panel under it but this year it’s different.
The suspension keeps the philosophy of the F1-75: front push rod and rear pull rod. Ferrari has worked to increase the car’s vertical load, but also the loss due to the regulations’ modification to reduce the rebound effect seen, especially in the first part of last season. In all this, the work carried out to find the desired balance and the completely redesigned suspension was fundamental. The suspensions have been revised for aerodynamic reasons and to improve reaction times when making settings on the track. The front, above all, has undergone the most apparent changes, going to a low track configuration precisely for aerodynamic reasons.
In terms of decor, the color black has a greater impact than last year, even on the SF-23. The wings remain black carbon to avoid adding paint weight, except outside the side appendages. The entire external part is now black, even the passenger compartment and the engine hood. Compared to last year, as mentioned, the vertical sides of the wings are partly red. This year, however, the tricolor flag is placed on the bonnet flap, right next to the numbers of the two drivers and just above Santander. The Ferrari name is on the rear wing again, as it was on the Scuderia last year for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. The difference, however, is the color: then they used yellow and this time it will be white. It is also important to note that the red is lighter than last year.
In his debut as Ferrari Team Principal, Frederic Vasseaur said: “For sure, we will be competitive with the two drivers from Bahrain, but the most important thing is Ferrari. Ferrari has priority. Ferrari must win. We must not be happy just because we are here.” We, Ferrari, must win. We are happy to be back on the racetrack and must be satisfied with the work done. It will be a very long season, but we will have to perform well. The engine has excellent performance, but reliability was certainly not our strongest suit. We did a great job at the factory in improving this. Last year we had a tiny window to leverage the engine. This year we have worked to make sure we can make the most of it.”
– José María Rubio.