It was a St. Valentine’s Day to remember for Scuderia Ferrari fans around the world with the unveiling of the SF23, the Maranello marque’s challenger for the coming Formula 1 season, at the company’s Fiorano track.
It is the 69th car built by Ferrari to compete in motor racing’s blue riband category, which starts with the Bahrain Grand Prix on 5th March.
On Tuesday, over 500 fans packed the grandstand specially erected at the Fiorano track for the first real launch to be staged after two years of virtual car presentations. Before the launch, drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz greeted the exuberant crowd.
The SF-23, whose name marks a return to the format of the Scuderia Ferrari initials combined with the year of competition, was first seen on video. Then on the big day, a coin toss determined who would get behind the wheel first and Charles Lerclerc won, driving the SF23 for its first couple of laps, while Carlos got his turn shortly afterwards.
The SF-23 livery features some parts in naked carbon, while the historic “long F” logo appears on the rear wing. The red colour is also brand new, created by Ferrari Design: a matt version on the Formula 1 car, and glossy on the 499P Hypercar, which makes its endurance racing debut this year.
“Our whole team has put a lot of work into this new car and seeing it in front of us for the first time just feels amazing,” said Charles Leclerc. “It means that the start of the season is very close, which is always an exciting moment. It felt great to drive it here at Fiorano today, sharing the experience with our tifosi and partners. We still have to wait for the first real laps at testing to make any real assessments though.”
Leclerc said that his team’s target is to better last season and bring home more victories, more consistently.
“The biggest goal will be to win both championships and we will do everything to achieve this,” added the Monegasque driver.
Frédéric Vasseur takes on the team challenge
It was announced in December 2022 that the Italian team will be led by new Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur, replacing Mattia Binotto this year.
“Over the past five weeks, I have had the chance to get to know many members of our team. We have a great group of people here and it is clear that motivation is high throughout the team,” said Frédéric Vasseur. “We have two talented drivers who are both eager to win and have the skills needed to achieve this.”
The new car dynamics
According to Enrico Cardile, Head of Chassis Area, the 2023 car is an evolution of the one they raced last year, but it has been completely redesigned. “On the aerodynamic side, we increased vertical downforce, to adapt further to the new aero regulations and achieve the desired balance characteristics. The suspension has also been redesigned, to support aerodynamics and increase the range of adjustments that can be made to the car at the track.
The most obvious changes are in the area of the front suspension where we have moved to a low track rod. The front wing is also different, as is the construction of the nose, while the bodywork is a more extreme version of what we saw last season.”
For Enrico Gualtieri, Head of Power Unit Area, preparation work for the new season is usually one of the busiest times of the year and this winter was no exception. “PUs have been frozen since last year, including fluids, oil and fuel and the only modifications allowed are those related to reliability, which was our Achilles Heel last season,” said Gualtieri. “We tried to understand the root causes of the problems we encountered last year on track and used all our available tools to try and solve them.”
Check out a video of the unveiling on the Monaco Life YouTube page by clicking here.
Photo source: Scuderia Ferrari Press Office