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Is the SF-23 Really That Difficult to Drive?

Updated: Jun 12, 2023

Written by Emily Allen, Edited by Sharifah Zaqreeztrina

Image Credit: Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz have been reported to be not in favour of the drivability of the Ferrari SF-23, especially after the poor performance in the 2023 Miami Grand Prix, which resulted in Leclerc finishing in seventh and Sainz fifth place.


In its post-race interview, Leclerc stated that the Ferrari duo “have a car that is so incredibly difficult to be on the limit.” In the same interview, Sainz revealed that the Scuderia is “battling inconsistencies with the predictability” of this season’s chassis.


Leclerc has had his reservations about the SF-23 chassis since pre-season testing back in February, asserting that this particular chassis might not suit his driving style.


It's from one corner to the other. Even in one corner, you can have huge understeer which goes to huge oversteer and this is obviously not ideal to have confidence in the car.” said the Monegasque in a Sky Sports interview.

Image Credit: Chandan Khanna/Getty Images

Despite the consistent complaints from the driving duo, team principal Frédéric Vasseur advocates for this season's chassis, pressing that the driver’s complaints may be exaggerated due to still riding high on extreme emotions the duo experienced after each session, stating that drivers are crowded with questioning and not given enough time to process.


Vasseur shared his opinion on his drivers’ comments, “If the car was so difficult to drive, I can’t imagine that we could be 0.1s off [Max] Verstappen”... On top of that, Vasseur establishes that the legendary team’s car will not be changed mid-season, as he entrusts that this car concept still has a wealth of performance to deliver.


At the end of the day we were P3 in quali, less than one-tenth off the pole position, two-hundredths off the front row […] I don’t think it was a disaster. We were in a position to fight for the pole position, and starting from the pole I think the win was possible.


Tweaks and improvements have already been made to the SF-23, such as a new floor design in Miami, and front and rear wing adjustments in Monaco.


Now ahead of the 2023 Spanish Grand Prix, the new hinted-at upgrade package will hopefully steer the Italian brand in a new direction, evolving into ‘’a better car, a more drive-able car, more consistent, better in the race” as Sainz expressed.


Will these tweaks improve the competitiveness of the car? Or will it further impede the iconic Ferrari duo in their fight for the World Championship? Let us know in the comments below.


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