Ferrari unveil the SF-23 in Maranello

Spread the love

By Magdalena Put

Photo credits: Scuderia Ferrari

The event took place at Ferrari’s very own Fiorano circuit in Maranello earlier today (“Our Valentine today is the new car,” Charles Leclerc joked ahead of the presentation). For the first time since 2020, Ferrari’s new car was unveiled in front of a live audience, with a grandstand full of passionate Tifosi fans adding to the excitement of the event. The launch was simultaneously streamed to a global audience via YouTube, where fans were encouraged to follow along using the new dedicated Scuderia Ferrari app.

Drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were greeted warmly by the fans when they took to the stage, recounting how they had prepared for the challenges ahead over the winter break, and sharing their expectations going into the season.

“The goal is to win, clearly. I mean, the feeling of winning is what motivates me, motivates all the team, too,” Leclerc reiterated. “I’m really, really looking forward to this new car. I think we’ve done a great job working on it and trying to address the weaknesses.”

Marc Gené also sat down with team principal Frédéric Vasseur to discuss how he’s been settling into his new role, the work that has been done over the winter and his expectations for the coming season.

“We put so much effort—honestly not myself, I joined too late, and my contribution is very small on this one—but I can perfectly feel the work done on the car and now it will be a new journey for the project because the car will move to the race team,” he said.

He continued: “It’s a great feeling, it’s like when you are back on track, it’s like when you’re back at school, and I can feel that everybody’s very proud of the job done. And this feeling is very important for the motivation of everybody and for the season. It will be a quite long season, but the motivation is there.”

He also revealed that the team worked hard to resolve the reliability-related issues that had plagued the F1-75’s power unit. “Last year—it’s not a secret—that it was not the best aspect of the engine. But we did a good job at the factory. And I think that now we are ready for the season.”

Vasseur called the launch—his first with Ferrari—an “intense” and “emotional” experience: “I’m more than proud to do something like this with all the Tifosi around the track, with guests, it’s a really big event and for us it’s the best way to start the season.”

Photo credits: Scuderia Ferrari

The SF-23 is largely an evolution of last year’s F1-75, both visually and conceptually, with its red-and-black livery and the eye-catching Ferrari logo on the rear wing, carried over from the special livery the team had used for their anniversary race at Monza last year.

Ferrari’s 2023 challenger made its on-track debut at Fiorano as part of the presentation, with Charles Leclerc putting in the first two laps before switching with teammate Carlos Sainz.

Leclerc was beaming after stepping out of the car, clearly satisfied with his demonstration run: “It feels good, the first kilometres with this new project after doing so many kilometres on the simulator. It feels special. Everything went smoothly—obviously with two laps it’s difficult to go into details, but I already gave my feedback once I was in the car there to the engineers to get the first feeling.”

He jokingly added: “It turns right when you turn right, it brakes when you brake. Lots of power. So everything feels good!”

We will have to wait until next week for a more comprehensive analysis of the SF-23’s on-track performance—pre-season testing kicks off in Bahrain on February 23.