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Leclerc and Sainz on new Ferrari SF23 F1 2023



Leclerc and Sainz on new Ferrari SF23 F1 2023

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz of the Ferrari F1 team share optimism about the new SF-23 car, but both drivers agree that the car’s effectiveness can only be determined through testing during the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Although we can get a glimpse of the SF23’s appearance in Bahrain, there’s no indication of what Red Bull or Mercedes will unveil. It’s difficult to attribute too much significance to testing, so it’s the Bahrain race that will provide meaningful insights. Nevertheless, I’m fond of this car and appreciate Ferrari’s approach.

Charles Leclerc believes that there are encouraging indications that Ferrari has addressed some of the deficiencies that ruined its 2022 Formula 1 championship challenge with its latest SF-23 car. However, he acknowledges that the changes must be tested and confirmed during the actual competition in Bahrain.

Following a 2022 season where Ferrari began with the fastest car but ultimately finished a distant second to the dominant championship-winning team Red Bull, the Italian manufacturer faced an extensive list of issues to address during the winter break.

Although some of the issues Ferrari encountered in the previous season were due to mistakes made by the team or drivers, the manufacturer is optimistic that its SF-23 car design will address some of the car-related problems. This includes resolving issues with reliability and tyre degradation that led to the loss of several race victories in the previous season.

Following his first two laps with the SF-23 car at Ferrari’s 2023 launch, which took place at the team’s Fiorano test facility, Charles Leclerc expressed his initial impression that things seemed to have progressed in the right direction.

Leclerc Sainz  Ferrari F1

When asked by F1Lead about his first impressions of the SF-23, Charles Leclerc responded by saying, “It feels good, it feels a little bit different.”


However, Leclerc admitted that it is challenging to truly discern the differences at this point, particularly during the limited number of laps that he had completed.


Leclerc explained that he wasn’t pushing the car to its limits during his initial laps, and the engine was turned down as well, making it challenging to gain a comprehensive understanding of the car’s capabilities. However, based on the work that had been done so far, Leclerc believes that Ferrari is moving in the right direction.

Leclerc revealed that Ferrari had identified and focused on addressing many of the weaknesses that plagued their 2022 car. Through extensive work on the simulator, the team has witnessed several positive signs of progress.

Despite the encouraging signs, Leclerc emphasized that the team still needs to wait until the Bahrain test to see if the progress made on the simulator will translate to the actual race track. Only when the car is pushed for consecutive laps in Bahrain will they be able to determine if the improvements made on the SF-23 will be valid in reality.

Leclerc Sainz  Ferrari F1

During the demonstration run on Tuesday, both Charles Leclerc and his teammate Carlos Sainz drove only two laps in the SF-23. However, they will have a more thorough shakedown of the car on Wednesday, where they will have up to 100km of running between them.

According to Carlos Sainz, the SF-23’s performance during its first four laps on track in front of fans at the launch went perfectly without any reliability problems. This was something of a gamble for the team, which could have gone horribly wrong if any issues had arisen. However, the car’s successful debut is a positive start for Ferrari in the upcoming season.

Carlos Sainz acknowledged that there is a certain degree of risk involved in putting a brand new F1 car on the track in front of such a large audience, as was the case at Ferrari’s launch event. However, given that the SF-23 performed flawlessly during the demonstration, it was a successful and positive outcome for the team.


Sainz expressed his satisfaction by saying that being able to enjoy the launch event without any problems on the track was fantastic. Usually, during installation laps, there can be some minor issues, but on this occasion, the SF-23 was running smoothly.

“I was able to push slightly while cornering, sensing the initial nuances, and we’ve already provided some feedback to the engineers to address for tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow, we’ll have the 100km race, which will be another opportunity for us to make progress towards our goal for Bahrain. We won’t have a clear understanding of the car’s performance and handling until we get to Bahrain, but at least we’ve taken some positive steps in the right direction.”

After completing two days of running in Fiorano, Ferrari will proceed to the three-day pre-season test in Bahrain next week. This test will occur a week before the first grand prix of the year.

Leclerc Sainz  Ferrari F1

The Bahrain test will serve as the first real test to determine if Ferrari has succeeded in reducing the variable car balance between low and high-speed corners that was evident in their car from last year.

Leclerc stated that the car balance “seems good” based on the simulator.

Leclerc also mentioned that there have been some developments, primarily for the race, but their effectiveness will have to be evaluated in Bahrain. He noted that it’s challenging to accurately replicate these developments in the simulator.


According to Leclerc, the team is now “better prepared” to avoid any potential reliability issues in 2023. He is also optimistic that the improvements made to enhance tyre management during the off-season will yield positive results.

When questioned about the team’s weakness in tyre management, Leclerc expressed his confidence that there will be races where they may face challenges in this aspect. However, he stated that they will examine and learn from those experiences to improve.

Leclerc acknowledged that significant efforts have been made to address the issue, and they now have a clear understanding of where to concentrate their efforts to improve. However, he emphasized that the team needs to demonstrate the effectiveness of their work through their performance.


Sainz revealed that he has completed approximately 400-500 laps on the simulator during the winter, and he has been residing and working in Maranello since the second week of January. This marks the earliest he has begun a year with Ferrari.

Sainz concluded by saying, “The steps we need to take and the areas we need to focus on are very clear in our minds.”

“We’ve had a relatively seamless pre-season thus far, and our focus now is on implementing a highly targeted strategy for Bahrain and executing it to the best of our abilities.”


Leclerc Sainz Ferrari F1 Leclerc Sainz Ferrari F1 Leclerc Sainz Ferrari F1


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