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How Ferrari Tackles High Downforce Circuits


Scuderia Ferrari has encountered a series of hurdles during the 2023 Formula 1 season. Their SF-23’s high downforce package presents formidable challenges. As the team prepares for the Singapore Grand Prix. These obstacles loom large, impacting their podium finishes and pole positions throughout the season.

In what can be described as an underwhelming campaign for the Italian racing powerhouse. The high downforce configuration of their SF-23 has emerged as a pivotal factor. Notably, their notable successes. Such as podium finishes and pole positions, have been exclusively achieved at circuits that favour low downforce settings.

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The Italian Grand Prix at Monza, a high-speed circuit tailored for low downforce configurations, showcased Ferrari’s prowess. They clinched a commendable third and fourth-place finish, with Carlos Sainz securing pole position. However, their performance just a week earlier at the Dutch Grand Prix in Zandvoort raised red flags.

At the Zandvoort circuit, Charles Leclerc grappled with the car’s unpredictability in the high downforce setup. This highlighted the intricate nature of the challenge Ferrari faces this season, with the SF-23 proving to be a complex beast to tame under specific conditions.

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Marina Bay, the venue for the upcoming Singapore Grand Prix from September 15 to 17, presents a particularly demanding challenge. The 5.063-kilometre bumpy street circuit, coupled with sweltering conditions, pushes both drivers and cars to their limits. It is here that Ferrari must find the key to harnessing the full potential of their SF-23 to remain competitive in the 2023 Formula 1 season.

Performance engineer Jock Clear has provided valuable insights into the high downforce dilemma that Ferrari currently faces. He emphasized the intricate balancing act that the team must master when dealing with their SF-23. “Going into Zandvoort, we knew that it was a circuit that wasn’t going to suit us and was going to expose the Achilles Heel of the car,” Clear explained during discussions with the media.

Clear continued to shed light on the car’s challenging nature, especially at circuits demanding high downforce. “You saw that with Charles putting it in the wall in qualifying, so it is a car that is very much on the edge of circuits like that. It has still got those nasty traits that don’t give the driver confidence.”

Charles Leclerc, the talented driver at the helm of Ferrari, concurred with Clear’s assessments. “It is a very edgy car when we go to those circuits, so we need to work on that.”

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As the Formula 1 circus converges on Singapore, the Scuderia Ferrari team faces an arduous challenge. The unique characteristics of Marina Bay’s circuit, with its demanding nature and complex corners, place a premium on downforce. For Ferrari, it’s not just about adapting to high downforce settings; it’s about mastering them to stay competitive against rivals in the season.

The intricate dance between power and aerodynamics, grip and balance, will be under scrutiny as the drivers navigate the relentless demand for downforce on the streets of Singapore.

Ferrari’s engineers, alongside their talented driver lineup of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, will be hard at work fine-tuning the SF-23 to find that elusive sweet spot for high downforce configurations.

As the Singapore Grand Prix unfolds, motorsport fans will be keeping a close eye on Scuderia Ferrari’s performance.

Will they conquer the high downforce challenge at Marina Bay and secure a podium finish? The answers will be revealed in what promises to be another exciting chapter in the ongoing drama of the 2023 Formula 1 season.

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