Will the new Pirelli tyres help Ferrari and the SF-23?

Ferrari SF-23

Max Verstappen claimed his 7th win of the season in Austria, erasing any doubts about the dominance of Red Bull’s RB19. The Dutchman gains an average of 9 points per race weekend over second in the standings.  He currently leads his teammate Sergio Perez by considerable 81 points in the WDC.

Checo Perez performed a consistent comeback, taking the last podium spot from Carlos Sainz, who paid the price for exceeding track limits. The Spaniard was very fast and showed – after an excellent Saturday – an extremely consistent first stint with a full load of petrol.

An interesting option could have been to leave him out instead of granting him an early stop by Leclerc, thus diversifying strategies. Both during and after the race, Sainz himself made no secret that he would have liked to try, convinced that he still had a good pace and had managed the tires well up to that moment. 

Certainly, the timing of the VSC was not helpful for Ferrari, which also contributed to a double pit stop that failed to replicate the standard shown in Canada. The time lost for Leclerc also hurt the Spaniard. Nonetheless, the string of penalties that relegated Sainz to sixth position makes it useless to speak of a narrowly missed podium.

Max’s dominance could not have been undermined. The world champion is travelling with race pace that was 6-tenths clear of anyone.

Diego Ioverno, smiling at the end of the race, admitted that the double pit stop was also an attempt to put further pressure, taking advantage of the Virtual Safety Car regime. Both he and Frederic Vasseur, Ferrari Team Principal, then positively assessed the consistency and solidity of the race.

“Verstappen finally made the pit stop, but he came out just ahead of us. He was about 20 seconds away. At the beginning of the year, we took more than one ride. It means that we have recovered a bit of the gap, and we are on the right track, now there is still one step to take, perhaps smaller but no less complicated,” said the Frenchman, confident of the weekend’s work.

Ferrari confirms the growth in performance and in terms of consistency

The new line of development undertaken by Barcelona, ​​with the debut of the sides and the first changes to the bottom, is starting to bear fruit. To these were added the new front wing and a bottom revised in almost its entirety, taking cues from solutions now well known by Red Bull (and Aston Martin). 

The drivers and principals made sure to thank those who worked hard at the factory for these developments. “The news was expected in a few weeks, and I know we put our men under pressure, but they worked 24 hours a day to be able to anticipate these updates, and today the result is a reward for them, too,” said the ex Sauber and Renault team principal.

In fact, the novelties have been brought forward by about three weeks, given that their original debut was scheduled for Hungary Some very intense work was carried out in Maranello to ensure the latest updates were immediately available on both SF-23s.

The news is not finished. At Silverstone, the Red will introduce other innovations that will complete what the trusted package for Budapest was. After Sanchez’s departure, Frederic Vasseur entrusted Enrico Cardile with all the technical responsibility of correcting those wrong choices of a year ago. From here, the technical office was able to push the accelerator in a more convincing way.

Silverstone will be a very important circuit where in Maranello, they hope to be able to confirm this progress and maintain the status of second force, continuing the comeback of Aston Martin and Mercedes.

Clearly, pay attention to the news also of the opponents, who have certainly not closed their update path here.

Ferrari Team Principal, Frederic Vasseur

A novelty, hitherto underestimated, will be that of the new PirellisEven through the mouth of Mario Isola himself, the modification to the casing shouldn’t alter the values ​​on the track, nor the behaviour of the tyres, but it remains an additional unknown factor which will be introduced by the British Grand Prix.

According to an opposing team, however, the new front tires will have a slightly ‘stronger’ structure, and this could indirectly affect those with a limited or not particularly solid front. Citing Ferrari and Aston Martin.

It would therefore seem to be no coincidence that after the race, answering a question about this issue, Vasseur said he hoped“that the new tires are a ‘game changer’.

We may not be as fast as Max, but we hope to take one more small step at Silverstone and get closer” also referring to the new arrivals and the work of understanding the package of new features introduced on the SF-23 so far.

Author: Giuliano Duchess
Paolo D’Alessandro & Piergiuseppe Donadoni

Translation: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang