The first half of the 2023 season has proven to be challenging for the renowned Italian team, Ferrari. Their car has shown promising speed over single laps, yet it has struggled to maintain consistent performances throughout races.
However, recent upgrades have brought significant improvements, slowly closing the gap with the dominant Red Bull team.
Ferrari’s Team Principal, Fred Vasseur, emphasizes that the next crucial step towards victory lies in presenting drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz with a vehicle that boosts their confidence, thereby unlocking the car’s full potential.
Looking back at the season’s initial phase, Vasseur, in an interview with F1 Flow.com’s Italian site, pointed out that the car’s handling issues are eroding lap times and hampering driver faith.
Vasseur elucidated, “Our problem wasn’t only linked to performance, as something occurred that has shaken our drivers’ trust in the car. Losing aerodynamic load on corners also causes balance loss, leading to understeer. Add unpredictable wind variations, and the problems multiply.”
“We lack performance stability, leading to diminishing performance lap by lap due to fluctuating conditions and declining driver confidence in the car.
Our focus now needs to be on prioritizing our drivers, even though this isn’t the quickest or easiest route to improvement, compared to simply adding downforce.
From one race weekend to the next, our performance can swing dramatically. One Grand Prix may bring positive results, while the next may see us underperforming.”
Copycat Tactics Discarded
Vasseur highlighted that, instead of adopting design elements from rival cars, Ferrari’s engineers are prioritizing addressing their car’s weaknesses.
“We’re striving to enhance areas where we fall short, as this approach is more beneficial than attempting to imitate others,” he stated.
“The toughest aspect of our work lies in accurately identifying our shortcomings and rectifying them. We made significant strides following Australia, and then again after Barcelona, though certain weaknesses still persist, especially under extreme conditions.
Introducing a new package can be challenging when time is limited. If the set-up isn’t right, anticipated gains can turn into losses. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand how to fully leverage an update. External factors, like sensitivity to wind, further complicate the situation.”
Both Leclerc and Sainz have admitted that the SF-23 can be difficult to handle in windy conditions due to its unpredictable performance.
Regarding this, Vasseur shared, “Our car is excessively sensitive to diagonal winds. We are striving to improve in this area as we have no issues with head-on winds.”
Despite the disappointing result at the British Grand Prix, Vasseur is optimistic about the upcoming performance in Hungary.
“I believe our car performs better in slower, 90-degree corners compared to longer ones,” he stated. “While a pole position is something we hope for, the wind could be the deciding factor. We believe that the Spa circuit, with its specific corner configurations, could be well-suited to our car.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Ferrari F1 Progress
What has been Ferrari’s performance in the first half of the 2023 season?
Ferrari has had a challenging first half of the 2023 season, with its car showing speed over single laps but struggling to maintain consistent performances throughout races.
What are the recent improvements in Ferrari’s performance?
Ferrari has made significant gains through recent upgrades, which has allowed it to gradually close the gap with the dominant Red Bull team.
Who are the current drivers for Ferrari and how is their performance affected?
The current drivers for Ferrari are Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. Their performance is affected by the handling and performance stability of the car, as well as changes in conditions like wind variations.
What is Ferrari’s strategy for further improvements?
According to Team Principal Fred Vasseur, Ferrari is prioritizing enhancing driver confidence and addressing the car’s weaknesses. Rather than copying rival designs, the focus is on understanding and rectifying the car’s specific shortcomings.
How does wind affect Ferrari’s car performance?
Both Ferrari drivers, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, have admitted that their vehicle, the SF-23, can be difficult to handle in windy conditions due to unpredictable performance. Particularly, the car is excessively sensitive to diagonal winds.