Ferrari have revealed their new 2023 challenger, the SF-23, during a launch ceremony held at their factory in Maranello.
Launch season continued apace on Tuesday, following on from the McLaren and Aston Martin teams revealing their 2023 Formula 1 machinery on Monday.
With just over a week to go until pre-season F1 testing gets underway in Bahrain, Ferrari held a launch event from their base in Maranello where they revealed the car with which they intend to fight for the 2023 Formula 1 titles, which was also streamed online.
2022 runner-up Charles Leclerc, together with Carlos Sainz and new team boss Frederic Vasseur, were all in attendance to peel the covers from the new SF-23 – an evolved version of last year’s extremely competitive F1-75.
Ferrari stage dramatic launch with tifosi in attendance at Fiorano
The launch took the format of a ‘mini-concert’, kicking off with a violin-led rendition of the Italian National Anthem, with a crowd of tifosi invited to Ferrari’s test track at Fiorano where the presenters brought out Sainz and Leclerc to a jubilant audience.
After a short chat about their winter breaks, long-time Ferrari tester Marc Gene welcomed new team boss Fred Vasseur to the team before teasing the audience with the audio of the new Ferrari engine fire-up.
Finally, it was time to reveal the SF-23, with a video showcasing the new car. The SF-23 hit the track at Fiorano straight after the launch, with Leclerc getting the honours of the first laps in the car as Ferrari cashed in their first of two permitted filming days for the season.
“It feels good, the first kilometres with this new project after doing so many kilometres on the simulator,” Leclerc enthused after climbing out of the new car.
“It feels special, so everything went smoothly. Obviously, with two laps, it’s difficult to go into details but I already gave my feedback once I was in the car there to the engineers to get the first feeling. The car was running well, smooth, everything went really well.”
Having had his run cheered on by the assembled tifosi in the grandstand, Leclerc spoke directly to the crowd: “It’s amazing to have a grandstand in Fiorano with all the tifosi here. There are also loads of tifosi up at the bridge. It is very, very special to see all the support on a day like this.
“I don’t think it happens to any other teams and that’s why it’s so special. Thanks to all the tifosi around the world that are helping us and pushing us in the good moments, but especially in the bad moments too. I really hope that this season will be an amazing one.”
The team will carry out 100 kilometres of track time, split between Leclerc and Sainz, with the Spaniard getting his chance a little later on Tuesday.