Sainz Insists Ferrari’s FP1 Trials Will Persist Amid 2023 F1 Competition

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Ferrari is overhauling its car for the upcoming year to address its erratic and at times debilitating handling problems, which have been obstacles for Carlos Sainz and his teammate Charles Leclerc.

Though both drivers have had decent qualifying sessions—Leclerc even snagging two pole positions—they’ve struggled to maintain their spots in races on more challenging tracks. This struggle stems from the SF-23’s high-downforce deficiencies, which erode not just the drivers’ confidence but also their tire longevity.

Convinced that the root of their handling woes lies in their existing chassis, Ferrari has pivoted its attention to its 2024 blueprint. This new plan includes introducing a fresh chassis and a redesigned rear end.

In a parallel effort, the Scuderia team has repurposed their Friday initial practice sessions into experimental labs for the next year’s car, permitting a broad range of set-up tests before they have to lock in a configuration tailored for the specific track of the week.

Sacrificing one hour of ideal race weekend preparation could jeopardize their standing in the 2023 constructor’s championship, where they are currently vying for second place against Mercedes and Aston Martin. However, Sainz argues that the long-term focus on 2024 is a strategic move.

“Look, battling for the constructors’ championship against Mercedes and Aston Martin is still very much on the table,” Sainz stated in response to a query from F1 Flow.com about the team’s shift towards 2024.

“We’re optimistic about winning if we play our cards right, but these practice hours also offer us a unique window for trial and error.”

Carlos Sainz, who represents Team Ferrari, further elaborated on their future goals.

“We’ve got a pretty solid idea of what we expect from our car next year—the capabilities it should have, where we aim to position it, and so on.”

“That said, knowing what you want and actually achieving it are two different ball games. We’re dedicating our energies to simulations, wind tunnel tests, and these Friday practices to make sure we’re as prepared as we can be for next year.”

However, Sainz also added a word of caution. He emphasized that these Friday practice sessions aren’t the end-all-be-all for development.

“The bulk of our insights still come from simulations and wind tunnel work,” the Spanish driver noted. “Real-world tests can only reveal so much due to variables like tire changes, which can obscure our test results.”

Sainz concluded, “We have to fully commit to our development procedures and rely on driver feedback. We have a clear understanding of what’s needed for next year’s car. Now, the challenge lies in assembling all these puzzle pieces to create a superior vehicle.”

Additional Reads:

  • Ferrari Unveils Exclusive Paint Job for F1 Italian Grand Prix
  • Alonso Highlights Williams and Ferrari as Podium Contenders at Monza F1

So, there you have it. Ferrari’s caught between a rock and a hard race, but if they play their cards right, they could end up holding the trophy in one hand and a blueprint for the future in the other. Ah, the life in the fast lane!

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