Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Baku City Circuit, 2023

Ferrari bringing first in series of upgrades to Miami Grand Prix

2023 Miami Grand Prix

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Ferrari will begin a push to catch Red Bull by bringing the first in a series of upgrades to this weekend’s Miami Grand Prix.

The team scored its first podium finish of the season in Azerbaijan last week having brought few changes to its SF-23 over the opening races and focused instead on refining its set-up.

“We pushed a lot to do the podium so far, it’s a milestone into the season for us, and for myself,” said Frederic Vasseur, who took over as team principal in January.

“We have to build up the pace and the confidence of the team on this. It’s important also because we made the important choice in terms of technical approach over the last couple of weeks and it’s paying off. I think this is important for the confidence of the team.”

The team has fallen further away from the pace of reigning world champions Red Bull. However Vasseur said “it’s too early” to decide whether the team needs to make drastic changes to the design of its car.

The team intends to bring the first of its upgrades to this weekend’s race. “We will start to bring updates to the car from Miami and for the next couple of events,” said Vasseur.

“How the car will react to the updates this is quite [important]. The update is one thing but the fact [whether] that you are able to extract all the potential of the update is another one.”

The peculiarities of this run of races makes introducing upgrades tricky, said Vasseur. The teams only had an hour of practice in Baku due to the revised sprint race weekend format.

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After this race the teams head to Imola, where the Alternative Tyre Allocation will be used for the first time, which may disrupt their pre-race running. That race is followed by the unusual, extremely slow Monaco circuit where conducting any development work is difficult and the high chance of incurring damage makes teams unwilling to risk new parts.

“It’s quite difficult with this kind of format to introduce updates and to develop the car,” said Vasseur in Baku. “But it’s the same for everybody and it’s a part of the game.

“It’s true that we will have to consider this in the approach for the next couple of events. You will have Imola the [ATA], then Monaco is not the best place to develop the car, but we will bring small updates. I think this format is pushing the teams to bring small updates and not to bring packages.”

Ferrari’s updates since first race

Race Part Description
Saudi Arabia Front wing endplate Improved flow conditioning, not track-specific
Floor edge Improved flow conditioning, not track-specific
Beam wing Lower drag to optimise straight-line speed for Jeddah
Australia No changes
Azerbaijan Rear wing Lower downforce top rear wing for long Baku straights

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2023 Miami Grand Prix

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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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6 comments on “Ferrari bringing first in series of upgrades to Miami Grand Prix”

  1. Well, they certainly need upgrades, but mostly they need to improve their tyre management. That is something they had an issue with last year as well though, not sure it will be “solved” without changing their car concept.

    1. Well, they certainly need upgrades, but mostly they need to improve their tyre management. That is something they had an issue with last year as well though, not sure it will be “solved”

      Just a small amount of editing required:
      “Well, they certainly need upgrades, but mostly they need to improve their management.” – The word Tyre can be deleted

      ” That is something they had an issue with last year as well though, not sure it will be ‘solved’ ” – Now we know we aren’t talking about tyres, this bit is fine. Although, in common with @todfod, I’d suggest that it’s been happening for decades and no end in sight.

    2. @bascb
      Tyre Management and the fact that Ferrari aren’t able to match RBR race pace doesn’t mean their car concept is flawed. Ferrari suffers compared to RBR when fuel is loaded into the car. The RB19 is very well balanced in every condition.

      This indicates that RBR are outclassing Ferrari in terms of suspension rigidity and the fact that they are able and I don’t know how to have a better ride height control. They are replicating the active suspension effect under the current regulations. Ferrari are going to introduce a new rear suspension in Imola and a RBR style sidepods in Spain in order to close the gap with RBR.

      1. Sure, sure @tifoso1989, to me what you write is pretty much exactly a concept that is in need of base changes.

        That it might not be a flawed concept can be true. But RBR is showing there are solutions that work significantly better. And Ferrari really cannot adress the car behaviour when loaded up while not affecting the behaviour for qualifying at the same time. So they will have to do significant/fundamental rework on the car if they want to be FASTER than RBR for most of the races.

        1. @bascb
          What I meant by concept is the aerodynamic concept and the way both teams work the Venturi tunnels. The F1-75 for example and before the TD039 was introduced was better than the RB18 in terms of peak downforce but still suffered tyre degradation.

          RBR in 2016 were running a trick suspension that was born out of the necessity to compensate for the weak Renault PU. They were able to implement a passive active suspension that lowers the floor of the car after a certain speed on the straights using hydraulic actuation of heave springs which was banned in 2017. They were mighty in the corners and did compensate some of their losses against Mercedes on the straights.

          People seem to forget that RBR chief designer is Rob Marshall, a master mechanical engineer who is none other than the father of the mass damper at Renault in their championship winning years. I don’t have any inside knowledge with regard to any F1 team.

          In this case you just have to connect the dots and it’s easy to understand that Newey and his teams have an unrivalled grasp of mechanical engineering and aerodynamics and a mastery in terms of their integration together. Newey has always been known for integrating the exact same aerodynamic concepts in across different regulations and eras. Example : working the diffuser aggressively, controlling the car ride height, active suspension behaviour…

          I think Ferrari should concentrate their efforts in understanding what RBR are up to have a balanced car in every condition and a perfect ride height control. RBR supremacy is a combination of seamless integration between the mechanical and aerodynamic part.

          Ferrari and according to Giorgio Piola are light years behind RBR in terms of suspension and he has been repeating this every year for quite a while even last year when Ferrari was clearly faster than RBR. Like I said people talk a lot about Newey but Marshall is equally an outstanding F1 master.

  2. Don’t think Ferrari’s upgrades, or in season developments, have had a significant positive impact on their performance in over a decade. They’ll probably just say the upgrades worked.. but we’ll see the potential of them in the next few races… which then gets postponed to next few seasons.

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