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Ferrari plan to use one extra power unit in 2023 amid small turbocharger issues

The Ferrari F1-75 car proved it could compete with the Red Bull RB18 until the power unit technical failures affected the Maranello team’s challenger after the first few races of 2022. As a result, Ferrari had to limit the power of the engines in the second half of the season to avoid any further problems, which also compromised part of the balance, as well as having an even more direct disadvantage in terms of lap time due to the fact that Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz could count on much less power.

At Spa Francorchamps then came another hit to the performance of the excellent Italian car, with the introduction of the DT39 which no longer allowed the F1-75 to be able to exploit the F1-75 car with the true potential of the mechanics from the lower part of the floor. However, why would Ferrari abandon its concept? In Maranello they believe that, with an improved reliability of the power unit, a more advanced floor and in line with the limitations imposed by the Federation between last season and the winter, alongside the important work to further improve the aerodynamic efficiency of the car, the SF-23 is an excellent basis to keep up with Red Bull and Mercedes in the 2023 Formula 1 season.

On the power unit side, the Maranello team is certainly satisfied with the innovations that will be brought to the track. “Last season, reliability was our Achilles heel, so our main goal for 2023 was to reach the level we set for ourselves.” – Enrico Gualtieri confirmed last week. The signals are certainly interesting, as confirmed by F1 experts Rosario Giuliana and Piergiuseppe Donadoni in the past weeks, with the head of the engine department of the Italian team and Frederic Vasseur pointing this out on the day of presentation of the SF-23. The runs are once again carried out at maximum power, however, some problems, which do not worry the technicians of the Italian team excessively but which will certainly be verified on the track, occurred with the turbocharger system. “We are having some positive feedback on the dyno regarding some changes made, but as usual the track will tell us if we have done a good job.” Enrico Gualtieri made it known.

The Italian team has already planned a season with the use of four power units for the 23 races, something that must however be linked to the words of the new Ferrari team principal, Fred Vassuer, who defined finishing the season with three engines as “a challenge”.

From the point of view of aerodynamic efficiency, even if there hasn’t been any major design change, an important refinement work along the whole sidepod area of the SF-23 has been done. Both the upper part, where the tank is, and the entire lower edge of the sides have seen subject a slimming process, giving the Ferrari sidepods a more rounded and less squared shape. The undercut is the one that has undergone the most interventions, which works in synergy with the important work done on the front area of the Italian car. The aerodynamicists from Maranello led by Enrico Cardile dug further under the area of the radiators, both front and rear, leaving the lower anti-intrusion cone open to air, which Ferrari continues to keep in a sufficiently raised position to leave the Venturi tunnels free. The interventions on the undercut were also designed to take the brand new system called “S-Duct” (here’s how it works).

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A system that passes to the sides of the chassis and radiator and has the important function of bringing the air to the upper part of the Ferrari SF-23 sidepods to energize the flow of air necessarily expelled from the slots, for the reasons mentioned in the first part of the article. This increase in terms of flow speed, which flows towards the lower part of the rear wing and the beam wing, has the important consequence of increasing the aerodynamic load at the rear of the Italian car. But there is a secondary function, more associated with the input of the system, which is to eliminate some leaks and turbulence that are found in that part of the car. By cleaning up the flow in that area, it means Ferrari gain a better quality around the sidepods , consequently increasing the load in the central and rear part of the single-seater.

Only the track will be able to give verdicts but in Maranello there is a lot of confidence in its aerodynamic concept. This is positive and a sign that goes against the trend in an increasingly limited, restricted and technically frozen Formula 1 era.

F1: Exclusive – First on-track photos of the Ferrari SF-23 at Fiorano –

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