Scuderia Ferrari will bring an upgraded front wing to the 2023 F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix weekend in Jeddah, attempting to resolve the SF-23's understeer issue.
After a poor inaugural Grand Prix was followed by ten days of speculations, controversies, and rumors, the track will be talking again as Ferrari arrives in Jeddah to try to turn its season around.
The obvious target for the Scuderia is that it was set before the start of the Formula 1 season to compete for both world championships, and this cannot be altered, no matter how dismal the performance of the Ferrari SF-23 car in the first round in Bahrain was.
Ferrari's new rear wing sparked a lot of debate in Bahrain, both during testing and throughout the race weekend, and was subsequently not deployed for the remainder of the weekend. Charles Lecerc's Ferrari SF-23 was equipped with a mono pylon rear wing on the final day of testing, following some delivery delays, as was the case at the start of FP1, but with somewhat poor and unexpected results.
SF-23 has a lot to offer, according to team principal Frederic Vasseur, and the Maranello team has to be able to extract it by working better with the setup and achieving a balance that has never been perfect in Bahrain. Even if the French management minimized any serious difficulties, the technical staff worked hard to enhance the SF-23 following three days of unsuccessful tests.
As it became clear that Ferrari SF-23 was not replicating the simulator's superb performance on the track, improvements in Maranello escalated. Pre-testing was not planned for this appointment; nevertheless, a new front wing will debut in Jeddah to enable for improved balance and setup optimization, fixing or at least reducing the difficulties observed in Bahrain.
The Scuderia had to deal with some unforeseen occurrences on the Sakhir track. The most significant is undoubtedly Charles Leclerc's DNF due to reliability issues, which will lose him 10 penalty spots on the Jeddah Corniche circuit.
The mono pylon wing used in Bahrain is a slightly more loaded variant with a more visible spoon. A solution that intends to transfer more weight to the rear of the SF-23 while not penalizing the efficiency efforts done over the winter to greatly boost the maximum speeds compared to the F1-75.
Ferrari confirmed that Charles Leclerc will receive a grid penalty for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
Before the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, the Scuderia changed the Energy Storage and Control Electronics on Leclerc's engine. While he was in contention for a podium position behind the two Red Bulls, the Monegasque retired.
All teams are only allowed to use two controlled electronic components per season without penalty.
Leclerc's switch to a third for race two in Jeddah ensures that he will have at least a 10-place grid drop this Sunday (March 19), and potentially more if any other parts are replaced, and raises the possibility of him receiving a further penalty later in the season