F1 rumours: Ferrari to unveil new SF-23 complete with fresh sidepod design

Sam Cooper
Carlos Sainz drives the Ferrari SF-23 during Bahrain testing. Bahrain February 2023

Carlos Sainz drives the Ferrari SF-23 during Bahrain testing. Bahrain February 2023

Mercedes are not the only ones working on new sidepods it seems with a report saying Ferrari will unveil their new design at Imola.

Ferrari have perhaps the most distinctive sidepods of any team on the grid and although it is not that area that has caused them problems over the past year, there is always room for improvement.

More and more teams seem to be converging on the Red Bull style of sidepod and the Italian edition of Motorsport.com is now reporting that Ferrari will bring an upgraded SF-23 to their first home race of the season.

But worryingly for Ferrari fans, the upgrade is not expected to put them in competition with Red Bull but instead hold off Aston Martin for the P2 spot.

Ferrari had hoped to have these upgrades ready for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix which comes following a three-week break after the race in Melbourne but the parts will not be ready in time.

The work is being done under the leadership of head of the chassis area Enrico Cardile but the new design is not expected to look like Red Bull’s.

The main goal of the change is to improve performance at a lower ground limit with the team spending much of the off-season focused on aerodynamic efficiency to reduce drag, with the belief that porpoising would not play too much of a factor in 2023.

Ferrari are not the only ones who will soon unveil a new sidepod design with work underway at Mercedes’ Brackley base in the hope of also finding performance.

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Toto Wolff has admitted the team would have no problem in producing a car that looked similar to Red Bull’s provided it would improve their speed and suggested Red Bull could “put a little sticker” on the W14 if that made them feel better.

“I don’t know, you can call it Red Bull or Aston Martin concept, [but] at the end, if it looks like an English double decker bus, we would do it if it was fast – put a little sticker, Red Bull, if they want to have it on,” Wolff joked to Sky Sports F1.

“The question is, what is your benchmark? If you look at the Red Bulls, they’re just so quick, that I think we understand the car more is what I meant.

“I’m looking optimistic in the future because we just need to put it in a different window. We’re changing the bodywork of the car, how the floor works, all of these things mechanically.

“We’re looking at certain areas, and the team in Brackley is just flat out and that is really nice to see that we can monetise on the Sundays on that.”