Ferrari are reportedly following in the footsteps of Mercedes and Aston Martin with their own aggressive upgrade plan in a bid to end Red Bull’s dominance.
Not for the first time in F1 history (and probably not the last), a false dawn appeared at a very confident-sounding Ferrari ahead of the F1 2023 season.
With Red Bull in a league of their own, Ferrari have gone from touted title challengers to being at risk of becoming F1’s fourth fastest team behind Mercedes and an Aston Martin outfit who have surged forward from the midfield.
Mercedes and Aston Martin both introduced major upgrades at Monaco and Montreal respectively and Ferrari, who ditched their ‘baby-bath’ sidepods at the Spanish Grand Prix, are looking to keep up in the development race with another ‘crucial’ upgrade on the horizon.
That’s according to Formula1uno, who are reporting that Ferrari’s head of chassis area Enrico Cardile has spearheaded a development charge that will see the SF-23 equipped with a new floor…and soon.
According to their information, Ferrari will use their second permitted ‘filming day’ at Fiorano on this coming Tuesday to get an initial feel of an SF-23 car that will feature: a new floor, as mentioned, plus a new front wing and new rear brake ducts.
Even though the upgrades are set to debut at Fiorano, there are doubts as to whether they will make an appearance at the next race in Austria due to the sprint weekend format being in effect.
There will be just one hour of practice available to the teams on the Friday before qualifying begins, so it would be a risk to introduce them with precious little track time before the pole position fight takes place.
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However, irrespective of upgrades, Red Bull appear to be bracing themselves for a fight with Ferrari at their home race with the track expected to suit their current iteration of the SF-23.
Asked if Red Bull victory number 101 is coming in Austria, Marko told oe24: “Let’s see. What got lost a bit in Montreal: Ferrari had the fastest car.
“The Red Bull Ring suits them. If Leclerc starts from row one or two, it won’t be a big Oktoberfest for Max.”
After finishing P4 and P5 at the Canadian Grand Prix, Ferrari sit fourth in the Constructors’ Championship on 122 points. 32 points behind Aston Martin, a further 13 behind second-placed Mercedes and a whopping 199 points adrift of the mighty Red Bull team.