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Ferrari confident Jeddah Corniche Circuit will suit SF-23 amid track characteristics

Scuderia Ferrari heads back home following the opening round of the 2023 Formula 1 championship at the Bahrain International Circuit with 12 points, thanks of a fourth place finish for Carlos Sainz, but also with the disappointment of Charles Leclerc’s retirement at two thirds distance, when he was a comfortable third. At the same time, the Maranello team is well aware that it does not have the pace to challenge Red Bull at this early stage of the season and will have to focus both on the reliability issues but also on recovering the pace deficit with in-season development of the SF-23 car.

According to German automobile magazine ‘Auto Motor und Sport’, Frederic Vasseur feels Scuderia Ferrari can fix the tyre degradation problems with setup changes and better understanding of the SF-23 challenger: “A fast car in qualifying has to be able to be a fast car in the race. It’s not a question of concept. We are convinced of our path and the developments in the pipeline.” – the French manager explained.

Ferrari also pointed out that this kind of reliability issue on Charles’ car never happened in the dyno: “It came out of nowhere. We never had this kind of power unit problem on the dyno at 6000 or 7000 kilometres. The first suspicion concerns the battery.” – Frederic Vasseur continued.

The Maranello team removed the first energy storage unit together with the power electronics before the race. Apparently the battery had not discharged overnight as usual. By the looks of it, the second unit also had an issue.

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The Italian side now has to weeks to focus on the second round of the season, the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and Scuderia Ferrari holds onto the fact that in Jeddah things could look different, as confirmed by English senior performance engineer Jock Clear: “Fast corners are particularly good for our car.”

At the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, the front tyres are loaded proportionally more. In addition, the asphalt is different than in Bahrain.

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