Ferrari Technical Director Enrico Cardile says the weaknesses of Ferrari’s 2023 Formula 1 package are “crystal clear” and a “brand new” car is being developed for next year.
The Italian outfit came into the season aiming to sustain a title challenge, but its hopes of challenging Red Bull have been stymied by a troublesome SF-23 car that has been prone to wild performance fluctuations.
Ferrari currently languishes fourth in the Constructors’ Championship on 191 points, having only accrued three podium finishes.
Speaking in Friday’s press conference at the Dutch Grand Prix, Cardile asserts that Ferrari understands the problems with the car that evolved from last year’s design philosophy.
“For us, it is crystal clear what we did wrong with the car,” he declared. “Which are the weaknesses is clear. It’s not a matter of understanding what we should do.
“Now, for the future, it’s a matter of delivering a good product which will cope with the targets we have. So, we are not in nowhere land.
“We know what we have to do. It’s a matter of doing. It’s a matter of finding the right contents of the car, the right architecture or the car to achieve the target.
“The other point is this car is consistent during the race weekend in terms of behaviour, but sometimes this behaviour changes from track to track. In Hungary, we had a difficult time, in Belgium the performance was back. So sometimes this happens but then during the weekend if the car is consistent we can work on it.
“On this track we dedicated FP1 to specific tests, to better tune our toolset, to better operate the car this year and to have data to improve the behaviour of the car next year.”
Expanding on where Ferrari’s car is lacking the most, Cardile explained: “We think that our main weakness is on the aero characteristics of the car, so all the focus since T1 [pre-season testing in Bahrain] when it has been pretty clear that we were not at the level we expected to be, the weakness was coming from there.
“So all the focus, all the efforts has been since T1 on improving the aero characteristics of the car.”
Despite Ferrari planning to introduce further new parts to its SF-23 across the second half of the year, Cardile reveals that its wind tunnel back in Maranello is now “fully focused” on the 2024 project.
“This year has been crucial for us, to put a lot of effort on this year’s car, to better understand from where the weaknesses were coming, and how to do a better job,” he acknowledged.
“So we kept developing the car in the wind tunnel since the summer break. We will bring some updates in the next races but now [in the] wind tunnel we are fully focused on next year’s car.”
Following its intrinsic struggles to get on top of its 2023 machine, Cardile admits that Ferrari’s current concept has provided too many development limitations.
Therefore, the Italian highlights how Ferrari is pressing ahead with plans to create a “brand new” car for next season in a bid to get back on the right track in this regulation cycle.
Pressed on what he can discuss about Ferrari’s 2024 car, Cardile said: “Not a lot, but it will be very different, because developing this year’s car we realised that some architectural choices we did were not right. It was constraining the development too much.
“From there next year’s car will not be an evolution of this year’s car like this year’s car has been compared to last year’s car, but it will be a brand new car – different chassis with different design, different rear end to allow our aero [department] to better develop the car to achieve their targets.”