Miami GP: Ferrari encouraged by Leclerc’s new floor

Jaden Diaz
5 May, 2023

Ferrari has arrived in Miami after an encouraging weekend in Baku, where the SF-23 seemed to take a step forward. Overall, the red car seen in Azerbaijan was around the second-fastest, considering the average between the single lap and the race pace.

The goal in Miami is to validate this form on a track that is less favourable for the characteristics of Ferrari’s car. Despite being a city circuit, Miami is not purely a stop-and-go track like Baku – containing a fairly technical first sector where Ferrari can suffer.

The focus of the Maranello squad is to take a step in the race, a session where the grip of the tire does not “mitigate” the shortcomings of this SF-23 as it does over one lap.

The gap that opens up for Ferrari between qualifying and the race is greater than for the other teams, which are closer to Red Bull but keep the gap in race pace from the RB19 more constant. 

The SF-23 is almost in line with Red Bull in qualifying but then almost 1 second behind in race pace. It is important to safeguard the tyres from an overheating standpoint, especially when following other cars during a long Grand Prix.

The new Ferrari floor is promoted and opens the cycle of updates that will continue until Spain.

From a technical point of view, the US race represents a transition stage before the European events, where the first big and important updates on the cars will be seen.

Ferrari is bucking this trend, having brought a new basic specification overseas  -which seems to have been immediately approved by the engineers and will be confirmed on both drivers. 

The American track, certainly more probable from the point of view of updates than Baku, is certainly the most correct choice to test a fundamental component for these current F1s – which is precisely the bottom. 

Red Bull, for example, had instead anticipated its update to the pavement in Baku, despite the characteristics of the track and despite the fact that the format only allowed one free practice session. T

he changes to the bottom of the SF-23 are not very visible, as they are mainly concentrated on finding a “different job” of the airflow in the lower part, inside the venturi channels to the throat of the speaker. Slightly revised the side edge in front of the rear wheels, and even more difficult to see a slight change to the walls of the extractor.

An update that is very important for Ferrari, on which the team is betting a lot to try to further limit the effects of bouncing and, above all, to guarantee a greater window of use of the aero-mechanical set-up.

It will be essential that the new floor offers good results in relation to the data collected in the tunnel, especially for the continuation of future developments.

The new fund kicks off a series of aerodynamic updates that will concern the SF-23 and will have Imola and, above all, Barcelona as other stops. 

There will be no distortion of the current project from a future perspective. However, the bodywork of the car will be revised to a small extent. With regard to the new fund, the Maranello team carried out tests in FP1 by mounting the new component on the car of Charles Leclerc, “more master” of this SF-23 at the moment than Carlos Sainz.

On an aerodynamic level, the Maranello team decided on Thursday to adopt the Monoline rear wing, which offers a discreet compromise between downforce and efficiency in the three DRS zones of the American circuit.

The double-support specification for medium-load wings used only in tests before developing the single-pylon version, has been shelved for the moment.

It is worth noting that fairly high temperatures (about 10 degrees more than in Baku) and the new asphalt could make tyre management for the Scuderia more critical.

Author: Rosario Giuliana
Co-Author: Giuliano Duchess

Translation: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang

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