Ferrari’s SF-23 floor on display for rivals after Carlos Sainz’s Canadian Grand Prix crash

Michelle Foster
Carlos Sainz's SF-23 is craned away after his practice crash. Canada June 2023

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz's SF-23 is craned away after his practice crash. Canada June 2023

Formula 1’s show-and-tell of the cars’ floors, although it must be said unwanted and unscheduled, continued in Montreal with Ferrari’s on display after Carlos Sainz crashed in FP3.

Having introduced ground effect aerodynamic cars last season, the floors of the Formula 1 cars are more important than ever before as they create much of the magic.

Already rival teams have had a good look at the race-winning RB19’s floor as well as Mercedes’ latest edition when their cars were lifted into the air on cranes at the Monaco Grand Prix.

On Saturday in Canada it was Ferrari’s turn.

Sainz crashed in Saturday’s final practice when his SF-23 snapped into a slide under braking at Turn 1 with the Spaniard colliding with the barrier on the right-hand side of the track.

His car was lifted by a recovery vehicle that exposed the floor for all to see.

Ferrari, though, won’t be too fazed by it all as team boss Fred Vasseur has previously stated that even seeing another team’s floor in detail, doesn’t mean you can copy it.

“I think that we all have a lot of pictures of the other cars,” Vasseur said after the Red Bull reveal.

“But then it’s quite difficult or even impossible to try to copy something because it’s more a global concept and you can’t copy just one part of the car.”

Sainz was running Ferrari’s latest floor design, the Scuderia having updated that as well as the car’s sidepods at the Spanish Grand Prix with Ferrari dropping their baby bath sidepods in favour of the Red Bull downwash concept.

Weighing in on that, Jock Clear, Ferrari’s driver coach, told The Race: “We all have to work around what we’ve structurally got and that is the challenge to ‘why doesn’t everybody just copy the Red Bull?’ recommends

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“Now that we’ve seen every aspect of the Red Bull from Monaco, we can all copy it. But there are certain structural limitations on where our chassis is, where our car is and that’s the challenge for all of us. That’s why just copying the Red Bull doesn’t work and we have to find our own solution.

“This upgrade is a testament to our aero guys to get this car to work around the chassis we have and the DNA of this car. And this is just the first step towards that. This has not made half-a-second, seven-tenths-of-a-second difference, this is two, three tenths at best.

“That is proof that the car has made a bit of a step forward. And it’s incremental, they’re all incremental [steps].”