Ferrari is looking to improve its fortunes in the upcoming Spanish Grand Prix after a disappointing start to the season, caused by the SF-23 car’s poor race pace. However, the team is planning to introduce a series of updates to the car, with one of the key changes being in the sidepod area. The team has been using an inwash solution since the ground-effect cars’ launch in 2022. Still, following Red Bull‘s success with downwash design this year, Ferrari is ready to change its philosophy in the area to address its issues. While the new sidepods may not directly copy Red Bull‘s design, they mark a significant change of direction from what Ferrari had previously run.
The team may have concluded that the tyre problems it is experiencing are more relating to the car’s aerodynamics than any mechanical setup. Charles Leclerc of Ferrari, who has had a tough season so far, is optimistic but realistic about the sidepod change, saying on Thursday that they are not expecting any big miracles. Leclerc thinks small tweaks every race will go in the right direction, and the latest update should help Ferrari become more consistent throughout the weekend.
Ferrari‘s team has been trying to eliminate the peakiness ‒ a term used when the car’s performance characteristics are more focused on speed than balance ‒ that has impacted the team and both Leclerc and Carlos Sainz this year. Commenting on the situation, Leclerc said that they have an “extremely peaky car” and that as soon as they go a little bit out of the perfect conditions for the car, the drop in downforce is drastic. The aim of the updates is to make the car more consistent throughout the weekend to achieve better results on race day.