Ferrari and Mercedes hold off on upgrades in Melbourne ahead of planned changes for Europe

Michelle Foster
Red Bull RB19 stripped, mechanics working on the car. Australia March 2023

Red Bull RB19 stripped, mechanics working on the car. Australia March 2023

Neither Ferrari nor Mercedes have declared any upgrades ahead of the Australian Grand Prix weekend, the two rivals expected to go big when Formula 1 heads to Europe.

According to reports Mercedes will have a big upgrade on the track at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix with speculation Ferrari could even put Red Bull-esque sidepods on their car at the following race, the first of their home grands prix at Imola.

But for now, in Melbourne, it was left to the other teams to introduce their upgrades although Aston Martin and Haas also refrained.

Runaway championship leaders Red Bull did not as they look to extend their advantage at the top of the standings with a third 1-2 for the season.

Having scored 87 of this season’s maximum 88 points, this weekend the RB19 has been fitted with a new front wing, front wing endplate and rear corner.

The team altered the portion of the wheel bodywork that wraps around the side of the rear tyre to achieve better cooling.

But the biggest changes this weekend belong to Red Bull’s sister team, AlphaTauri.

One of only two teams yet to get off the mark this season, they have a new floor as well diffuser.

The new floor, floor fences and floor edge have all been introduced with the aim of increasing the car’s downforce. The revised edge is expected to give more consistent behaviour to the floor edge vorticity thus leading to an increase in local load.

F1 TV Pro* viewers can watch all the live action from Australian completely ad-free! Click here for the ultimate F1 viewing experience.

*Available in selected territories only. Click here to see eligible territories.

Over at Alfa Romeo there’s a new nose and front wing for the C43 that’s designed to give the car better balance while new mirror stays should allow for better control of the airflow surrounding the cockpit.

Alpine have tweaked the Halo with the revised fairing intended to provide a small improvement of air flow towards the rear of the car.

Williams meanwhile have new rear wing endplates as well as a front wing, the trim of the latter changing the area of the front wing flap to suit the characteristics of the Albert Park circuit.

As for McLaren, the team currently bottom of the log with a “kind of B-spec car” set to arrive before the summer break, they have a new engine cover as well diffuser.

The team has modified the forward floor fences of their diffuser to change local suction, floor vortex strength and positioning. It is hoped this will increase the car’s downforce.