Ferrari had hoped to win the championship in 2023. This seems unlikely at the moment. Red Bull has a comfortable lead over the Italian team, and Aston Martin as well as Mercedes are also a strong competitor. The reliability issues and the often disastrous race pace have combined to give them only 26 points in their first three races.
The Australian Grand Prix is the worst race they have ever had. Charles Leclerc had retired from the race on the first lap. Carlos Sainz received a five-second penalty after colliding with Fernando Alonso at the last standing restart. This meant that he was no longer in the points because there was no other racing lap. Ferrari failed in its attempt to appeal the decision.
There’s some hope for improvement. According to Frederic Vasseur Ferrari plans to introduce upgrades to the Miami, Emilia-Romagna and Spanish Grands Prix. Baku’s sprint race weekend made it difficult to bring major upgrades. According to Motorsport Italia the Maranello aerodynamic package with reprofiled sidespods is ready sooner than expected.
It’s complicated to bring it to Azerbaijan. The format for the upcoming weekend has been changed, with just one practice session and two qualifying sessions, one for sprint and another for the main race. According to the report the question for Ferrari is now: Do they have ‘courage to introduce their aerodynamic package’ in Baku?
Upgrade package could bring “more hollowed-out sidespods” for the Ferrari SF-23
The aerodynamic package is designed to reduce drag on the SF-23, which was a problem. Testing this in Azerbaijan presents major problems: there may not be enough practice time to fully understand and optimize the aerodynamic package.
Ferrari also “partially revised the cooling system 066/7 by moving some vents elsewhere.” The report states that Charles Leclerc would have also “tried” the advanced setup’ on the simulation and received ‘positive results’. According to the publication, Baku will see two ‘upgrades.’ The publication confirms that the rear wing will be unloaded, and the front flaps will be adjusted to “ensure balance at high speed”.
Ferrari is unlikely to introduce this package, even for a single car. This is because only one session of practice will be held, and the package could get damaged. It looks like the wait for a competitive SF-23 will continue for a few weeks.