First pictures: Ferrari make flying start to 2023 as SF-23 hits the track at launch

2023 F1 season

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The Ferrari SF-23 has been revealed today in a launch event at the team’s Fiorano test track headquarters.

The team immediately sent the new car out onto the track to complete its first laps in the hands of Charles Leclerc. Carlos Sainz Jnr is due to drive next.

Antonio Giovinazzi and Robert Shwartzman will share the role of reserve driver. Antonio Fuoco and Davide Rigon will be the team’s development drivers after many years of working for Ferrari on their simulator.

Frederic Vasseur arrived as the new team principal in place of Mattia Binotto last month. “I am very pleased with how the car looks,” said Vasseur. “I love the red colour and the ‘Effe Lunga’ that spans across the rear wing, reminding us of our heritage.”

“Our objective is to win the championship, which will not be an easy task as our competitors will have exactly the same target in mind,” he added. “We have to bring the right mindset with us and always work on being better tomorrow than we are today.”

Ferrari had already revealed the name of the car a week before the launch, and during the off-season announced that new sponsors would come on board but partnerships with others – such as Velas – had ended.

The team finished second in the championship last year, an improvement on the previous season, but was disappointed to miss out on the title after winning two of the first three races.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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27 comments on “First pictures: Ferrari make flying start to 2023 as SF-23 hits the track at launch”

  1. It’s…… basically the same as last year.

    1. Last year’s car had reliability issues that required a detuned program to be raced, trouble adapting the floor to the new Mercedes-requested and provoked mid-season regulation change, which in turn exacerbated the already present but smaller tyre management deficit to Red Bull. They don’t need to make major changes to other parts of the car.

      Having a strong engine is good as reliability upgrades are still allowed, and if Vasseur can play a stronger political game than Binotto – which is pretty much guaranteed given their starkly different road to the job and Vasseur’s character in general – Ferrari should be able to put up a much stronger resistance to any potential repeats of Mercedes’ awkwardly close relation to the rulemakers that have impacted the previous two seasons.

      1. MichaelN,
        Just to add that this wasn’t a shakedown. The real shakedown will be carried tomorrow in Imola behind closed doors to verify that the mechanical parts, all the systems and procedures work as expected. This is a launch car and the real car may only be seen in the final day of testing when teams normally chase performance.

        As you’ve mentioned Ferrari did have a valid design last year that was scrapped by the TD039. If they can adjust the car to make it work with new changes is better than redesigning it from scratch.

      2. Poor Ferrari just can’t catch a break from the rule makers, can they?

    2. The sharp nose tip is gone ;)

    3. What’s your point? Last year it was the best car for a lot of the season bar reliability issues.

      1. My point is:

        It’s…… basically the same as last year. Again.

        Was it really that unclear?

        1. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
          15th February 2023, 14:59

          Ferrari is not going to radically change their philosophy, that for the most part was good. This is an iterative process and building off of the things that worked and improving the area’s that didn’t (aka reliability and the need for the car to be better on tire wear). Ferrari overall, had a strong car last season so there is no reason for a complete redesign that could potentially set them much further back in the field. It’s also more cost effective to do the iterative approach than being reactive and doing complete design overhauls. Complete redesign would cost more and alot of data gathered last year would be no good and the team would have to start at square one trying to understand a new design philosophy which takes time. This would be a big setback for a car that was generally pretty good last year. From a technical standpoint, what Ferrari and Merc did with theirs just makes sense. Welcome to the cost cap years!

          When looking at the details the aero/body did change quite a bit but it’s obvious Ferrari stuck with the bathtub side-pod philosophy. Plus, we have no idea what changes they did under the body and with the underbody/diffuser. So, my question to you is what knowledge of this design suggests that this car is “basically” the same as last year aside from the bathtub side pods? To me I see lots of tweaks and refinements to the visible area’s. I for one applaud Ferrari for sticking with their philosophy as we see many teams copying the RBR design and cars are more or less looking more the same now already as the copying has gone full swing (these teams will continue their ways of chasing their tail). I even applaud Merc for sticking to their philosophy that they have stuck with and they had more reason to maybe converge to a Ferrari or RBR philosophy. So basically… your baseless point is mute.

          1. Wow.
            All I did was state the obvious….

  2. Well now when I’m writing it has only one picture

  3. The dark on the engine cover almost gives it vibes of the F2003-GA from the side. Negated somewhat by it being much longer, but still.

    Hopefully this car can be competitive for wins throughout the season, and then we’ll see how a potential title campaign takes shape. If we can have three teams with a realistic chance every time, it’ll be great for the fans regardless of who wins on the somewhat arbitrary points table.

    1. Oh, I hate how they ruined the nice flow of the engine cover with that black paint for the number :((

  4. Extremely difficult to comment on the aerodynamics as this I believe will play a major part in this year’s campaign, from what I can see is the front wing does not appear to be as effective as Aston Martin so I would think this is a part that will change on race day.

  5. My favorite livery thus far.

  6. I’m surprised they’ve stayed with the 2022 concept as of the three big teams, they made the least progress during the year.

    Will have to wait and see if they close the gap on Red Bull or if they end up within reach of the more ambitious Red Bull copies in the midfield.

    1. I agree David, it’s interesting that they kept the scooped out sidepod approach. That said, the undercut is far more aggressive and much closer to RedBull.

      Clearly struggling for weights saving too with the exposed carbon. I don’t dislike it, but that tells its own story.

      I’m now excited to see the Mercedes for this year. They finished the year strongly and seemed to get the zero pod approach working. Will they stick with it or make the jump to the RedBull style.

    2. They stopped all work on 2022 car after Silverstone and ran a detuned engine. Without strategy and engine blow ups they were onto win last year. Granted as they made no attempt to develop post summer break this is an unknown but they developed well late into 2021 but this is a potential issue. If they have sorted strategy and reliability we may well find their concept is the best.

    3. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
      15th February 2023, 15:10

      I’m not really all that surprised. I don’t understand your point on the least progress made over the course of last year?

      The top three teams still had a comfortable gap to the rest and the others teams did a lot of copying of the front running teams (more taking RBR designs). I for one really like seeing the top three having three very different philosophies. This would provide greater differences from race to race. Look at Merc, some races they were out to lunch and others running right with Ferrari in some cases. Also, it’s more cost effective for teams to iterate on their designs (especially in the cost cap era) and Ferrari generally had a very strong car last year. It makes zero sense to abandon that philosophy. Again, it’s about all the sub-systems work together that creates a strong car. Plopping an RBR aero package on top of a Ferrari chassis/suspension/drive train does mean it will work well as an overall package.

  7. Great livery for a clown team

  8. They just need to sort out the engine reliability, strategy mistakes, tyre life, aerodynamic shortcomings, and drivability. Then they’ll be a force to be reckoned with. So…. it’s a P3 for Ferrari in 2023, dropping behind Mercedes and Red Bull.

  9. I’m very glad they’ve kept the same colour of paint. It looks so damn good, and with the black too. Such a classy looking car.

  10. If all else fails, you can always count on Ferrari to make a sexy looking car.

  11. Goodness, people love to complain don’t they! I think the new car looks pretty good but maybe not quite as aesthetically pleasing as the 2022 version. Good though and better than most others.

    I just hope the car proves to be successful and they have sorted most of their shortcomings out.

    I also admire Ferrari for doing a hard launch with a real car that is capable of racing. In my view, these livery reveals are just a complete waste of time for all concerned especially the fans. A lot of hype for nothing. Liberty should stop them.

  12. This is a better launch than some of the other ones.

    1. Best car launch that I can remember.

      Simple and pure emotion: a grandstand, a racetrack, and the actual car driving on track… how cool is that?! It had everything a fan could wish for. Ferrari did steal the hearts from the F1 community today. They set a new benchmark to car launches.

      1. Well said. This is the way it should be.

        Couldn’t watch the Red Bull extravaganza at all. Who wants to watch that?

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