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Ferrari’s “main focus” remains eliminating F1 car “peakiness”

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The SF-23 was introduced for the Miami Grand Prix with an updated floor design with updated rear wheel front geometry, designed to make the car more “benign”.

Then Leclerc crashed in Q3 before he and team-mate Sainz bemoaned “zero flexibility” in the kit, meaning they couldn’t manage their tires to swap strategies mid-race.

Leclerc was seventh in Florida, while Sainz was fifth.

Although the pair initially reported the car was less sharp during Friday’s practice, Ferrari said making the car increasingly “predictable” remained a priority.

Jock Clear – who hosted the Ferrari car’s tech presentation last weekend – believes the SF-23’s ethos is a mixture of setup and aerodynamics. Leclerc’s driver coach Clear explained: “It’s always a combination of both.

“With the new aero package in the winter, it took us a while to find the setup.

“This floor helps to get the car into a better window as the driver reported earlier that it was peak hour.

“We need to get rid of some of the peaks. That’s probably the main focus at the moment, to make the car a little softer and give the drivers more confidence.”

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23

Photography: Steven Tee / motorsport pictures

Ferrari will provide further updates on Emilia Romagna and the Spanish GP. In addition to track-specific tweaks, it also introduced redesigned front wing end panels and floor panels in Saudi Arabia.

Clear outlines that modifying the way the floor interacts with the rear wing and tires is a key area in this era of ground effects in F1. This has been reinforced in 2023 with a mandatory 15mm rise in floor edges, a measure introduced by the FIA ​​to limit dolphin predation.

“The height of the floor relative to the ground has a huge impact on the overall downforce,” he said.

“You generate so much downforce on the floor and the rear wing, but they are linked. So, that’s the area where most people develop.

“The part directly in front of the rear wheel, you can control the airflow going to the outside of the wheel or the inside of the wheel and thus into the diffuser area.

“These changes are very subtle…but actually, from an aerodynamic point of view, they are very powerful.

“It’s just in response to the feedback we’ve had from the drivers in the first four races of the year that the car is flawed.”

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He continued: “You can move the air a little bit … which gives the driver a more consistent balance at medium speeds, high speeds, low speeds, braking and getting in and out.

“All those areas where the floor moves a lot, we can try to make the car a little gentler. It makes the driver more predictable.”

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Alpine enjoys after: 'Monaco proves what we can achieve'

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In the end, Alpine had something to celebrate this season. In Monaco, the French team took an equally well-deserved podium. Esteban Ocon has shown that the Alps have pace after all, and in a year in which chief executive Laurent Rossi has ramped up the pressure considerably. The latter demand immediate results. In Monaco, that wish came true.

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Sainz hopes for clarity on his contract at Ferrari soon

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Carlos Sainz still has a year-and-a-half remaining on his Ferrari contract, but the Spaniard is curious to see what the Italian team plans to do with him after that. Sainz spoke about this in a conversation with Sky Sports. So while he previously said he wasn’t worried about all the rumors surrounding him personally, he wanted clarification soon.

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Ferrari introduces updates: 'We expect to make progress'

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Last week it was Charles Leclerc’s turn and next weekend it was Carlos Sainz’s. Soon, both Ferrari drivers will be competing in their home races. The race in his hometown of Monaco didn’t go his way for Leclerc, with Sainz clearly hoping to please his fans with the best results.

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