Scuderia Ferrari on new sidepod look: “It’s a change, for sure, but it’s not a new car”

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A significant upgrade was introduced during the earlier practice session by the Scuderia as Carlos Sainz, running at his home GP, sported rather different looking sidepods compared to his teammate Charles Leclerc’s.

Since the beginning of the new generation of cars introduced in 2022, Ferrari has used and won races with a peculiar, wider design of sidepods, now given up for a slimmer look. The innovative take for the team makes the car more similar to the majority of the other teams on the grid instead, including Red Bull.

Photo credit: Scuderia Ferrari

According to Ferrari’s Team Principal Fred Vasseur, however, the new concept has much more potential to be unlocked compared to the older design, as he said in the press conference: “It’s a change, for sure, but it’s not a new car. For us it’s the opportunity to open a new door for the development for the future. It was quite promising, it meant that we committed on this way.

“Let’s see what the next weeks will bring to us. I think it was a tough decision, but it was a decision.”

Vasseur believes that the new sidepods look can immediately unlock better performance, but that even more will come from further developing the concept and other additions set to be added to the SF-23 in the next rounds:

“From this upgrade we are expecting a step forward, not a huge one but a step forward also to open some doors for the future in terms of development.

“We will have other upgrades coming on the next couple of races. It’s an opportunity also to take another direction but even with this one we’re expecting to go a step forward.”

However, after a single hour of running it’s hard to evaluate the complete extent of the innovation brought by the upgrade. The Team Principal admitted to be pleased with the early result, but that it surely needs more testing time, especially as in the same session the drivers were trying out the new prototype Pirelli tyres that will be introduced at Silverstone:

“The first feeling is good but it was a very intense session for everybody.We had to test the proto tyres and we did three or four small runs with a couple of laps.”

“Let’s have a look on everything and we’ll see over the weekend what is the situation,” he concluded.