Ferrari built a 2023 car which has on occasion excelled in qualifying, but has otherwise been very inconsistent over race distances and across grand prix weekends.
That lack of consistency, which has been largely put down to the SF-23’s aerodynamic characteristics, has held Ferrari back in its fight with Mercedes and Aston Martin for second in the championship behind the dominant Red Bulls, with Ferrari coming into the second half of the season in fourth place.
The Maranello squad has spent the past few months investigating where its main weakness, which led to what Carlos Sainz called a “very peaky car”, has come from.
“For us, it’s crystal clear what we did wrong with the car and which are the weaknesses,” Ferrari’s Head of Chassis Enrico Cardile said in Zandvoort.
“It’s clear, it’s not a matter of understanding what we should do. Now for the future, it’s a matter of delivering a good product which will cope with the targets we have.
“So, we are not in ‘nowhere-land’. What we have to do is a matter of doing, it’s a matter of finding the right contents of the car, the right architecture for the car to achieve the target.”
While the 2023 car was an evolution of last year’s F1-75 machine, Ferrari’s woes have now prompted the team to make wholesale changes for next year, promising a “brand-new” car.
“It will be very different because developing this year’s car we realised that some architectural choice we did was not right. It was constraining too much the development,” Cardile explained.
Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23
Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images
“Next year’s car will not be an evolution of this year’s car like this year’s car has been compared to last year’s car.
“It will be a brand new car, a different chassis with different design and a different rear end to allow to better develop the car to achieve the targets.”
Cardile said Ferrari is still producing updates to further find possible solutions for next year, which will be rolled out across the next couple of races. Meanwhile, its design team has now fully shifted to the 2024 project.
“It has been crucial for us to put a lot of effort into this year’s car to better understand where the weaknesses were coming from and how to do a better job,” he added.
“We kept developing the car in the wind tunnel since the summer break. We will bring some other updates in the next races, but now in the wind tunnel we are fully focused on next year’s car.
“On this track we dedicated FP1 to specific tests to better tune our tools, to better operate the car and to have data to improve the behaviour of the car next year.”