BAHRAIN: Ferrari’s latest Formula 1 car, the SF-23, has come under scrutiny from rival teams over using an S-Duct design in the sidepods.
Teams have used the S-Duct for over a decade to minimise the impact of turbulent air from cars in front, but Ferrari’s new solution slightly modifies the concept by channelling airflow towards the rear wing and beam wing.
Teams have asked the FIA to clarify whether this design is legal, but Ferrari remains confident that the car complies with technical regulations.
Ferrari pushed ahead with the design of the SF-23 last summer when it became clear that Red Bull and Max Verstappen were building an unassailable lead in the championship standings.
The team is confident that the car will feature two or three “very interesting solutions,” including “a couple more hidden” innovations that will roll out as the car is tested in pre-season.
However, the team is focused on improving the power unit’s reliability, with team principal Fred Vasseur admitting that this has been a critical area for improvement.
The SF-23’s use of the S-Duct in the sidepods has been a topic of discussion among rival teams since it was unveiled, with many questioning whether the design is legal under current technical regulations.
The S-Duct has been used in various forms by teams since its introduction in 2008, but Ferrari’s concept modification has caused some controversy.
The opening at the rear of the sidepods is positioned close to the car’s centre, allowing airflow to move towards the rear wing and beam wing.
This modification could theoretically improve the car’s aerodynamic performance, but its legality is being questioned.
Ferrari is confident that the SF-23 complies with technical regulations, and the team is focused on ensuring that the car runs reliably during pre-season testing.
Ferrari is among many teams looking to innovate with new designs in the 2023 season.
All teams will be looking for ways to gain a competitive edge, and the SF-23’s S-Duct modification could be just one of many innovations to be unveiled in the coming months.
The next three days of testing in Bahrain will be crucial for Ferrari as the team looks to improve the SF-23’s reliability and demonstrate that the car complies with technical regulations.
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