Revealed: Ferrari’s revised sidepods break cover in Spain

Michelle Foster
Ferrari SF-23 front wings and engine cover in the Barcelona pit lane. Spain May 2023

Ferrari SF-23 front wings and engine cover in the Barcelona pit lane. Spain May 2023

Ferrari’s new-look sidepods have been put on display in the Barcelona pit lane, the Scuderia saying goodbye to the baby bath design in favour of a more Red Bull-esque downwash concept.

The opening races of the 2023 season have been a mixed bag for Ferrari with the Scuderia’s SF-23 showing pace in qualifying only to falter in grands prix with the car billed as unpredictable and peaky.

As such, the team has managed just one podium in six races – Charles Leclerc P3 at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix – with Ferrari a distant fourth in the Constructors’ Championship.

Forced to re-evaluate their design philosophy, they – like Mercedes – have now made the call to adopt more Red Bull-styled sidepods, which will be raced for the first time at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Doing away with the in-wash baby bath look that Ferrari have run since the beginning of the ground effect aerodynamic era in 2022, the revised sidepods have taken up the downwash philosophy that has been so successful for Red Bull.

Other changes to the car include a new engine cover while the mirror housing has also been tweaked.

Team boss Fred Vasseur told “We are pushing like hell at the factory to bring an update as quickly as possible because we are not happy.

“I think the results we have today are not the target and we want to do better. We will continue to develop in any case.

“The target is not in terms of position.

“The target and the important mindset that I have to push for is to do a better job tomorrow than today.

“As soon as we are able to analyse that we have weakness on the car, on the approach of the team or in the garage, we put all of our effort to fix it.”

Vasseur, though, has downplayed the impact the revised sidepods will have on the car’s performance. recommends

The Key Storylines To Emerge From The Spanish Grand Prix Media Day

Pundits highlight the key difference between Ferrari and Red Bull

“It would be a mistake to imagine the lack of performance is coming from just the [aero],” he added.

“Performance is coming from everywhere: the capacity to produce parts quickly, the strategy, the pit wall, the mechanics, the pitstops, the reliability.

“Every single employee of the company is a performance contributor.”

Meanwhile, Carlos Sainz applauded Ferrari for the hard work in getting the revisions to the track.

“You cannot imagine the effort Maranello has done in trying to bring this package forward,” the Spaniard said.

“It was supposed to come a lot later in the season and the whole factory was just flat-out these last few months, because of the situation, to try and bring it earlier.”