Ferrari have arrived at the Miami Grand Prix armed with a new floor as the team look to build on an encouraging return to form in Baku.
Charles Leclerc was among the stars of the show at last weekend’s Azerbaijan GP, claiming pole position for both the sprint race and the Grand Prix itself.
Leclerc went on to finish second to Red Bull’s Sergio Perez in the sprint before claiming P3 the following day to secure Ferrari’s first podium finish of the 2023 season, having retired from two of the opening three races in Bahrain and Australia.
Ferrari’s car was found to be lacking compared to its nearest rivals in the early weeks of the season, with the SF-23 known to be particularly harsh on its tyres, though the team is certainly not standing still as they search for further gains.
The Scuderia are looking to build on a promising weekend in Baku with the arrival of a new floor in Miami, the first of three races in the United States across the 2023 campaign.
With a particular focus on front/mid-floor and diffuser geometries, the upgrade “is part of the standard development cycle” according to an FIA document.
“Particular attention has been put on losses reduction in all the updated areas, with the aim to improve the overall aerodynamic performance and car efficiency.”
Floor performance is said to be a critical area under the ground-effect rules in place since the start of the 2022 season, with a far greater proportion of the car’s performance generated by the underbody in the current era.
Leclerc crossed the finish line in Baku just eight-tenths in front of Fernando Alonso in the Aston Martin, with 2023’s surprise package also bringing a small upgrade to Miami – focused on the car’s cooling louvres – as they aim to consolidate second position in the Constructors’ standings.
“A new bodywork panel is available with an additional area of cooling exits in the side of the bodywork,” the FIA statement read.
“Use will be dependant on the conditions.
“The additional exit area allows more cooling flow to exit from the underbody cavity hence increasing cooling capacity allowing operating targets to be met in hotter conditions.”
With a short turnaround between Baku and Miami, only three other teams – Alfa Romeo, Haas and AlphaTauri – have opted to bring new parts to this event.
Alfa Romeo have brought a beam wing with the option of running without a flap, described as “an additional configuration of previously utilised parts.
“We have added this possible combination to give us an additional aerodynamic solution to respond to the characteristics of the Miami track,” the team explained.
Fellow Ferrari customers Haas have also brought a new floor intended to improve the performance of the car in low, medium and high speed sections with ” a better control of the pressure distribution and the management of the lateral flow.”
Finally, AlphaTauri have welcomed the arrival of a new front wing and sidepod inlet.
“The outboard end of the front wing is modified to raise the tip elements and add small winglets to the inboard side of the endplate close to its trailing edge,” the team say, while the sidepod inlet aims to achieve a “reduction in wake losses [that] allows the rear of the car to receive higher energy flow, improving downforce generation as a result.”
Red Bull, Mercedes, Alpine, McLaren and Williams have chosen to bring no upgrades to this event.