A Formula 1 technical analyst, Craig Scarborough, has said he is convinced that Ferrari’s controversial front wing is simply a diversion to distract from other areas of the car. The front wing of the SF-23 features slot gap separators that resemble those used by Mercedes, which were disallowed last year. Although it is claimed that the removal of a single word from the FIA rulebook could make these slot gap generators legal for 2023, Scarborough believes that this is a ploy by Ferrari. Speaking on F1 journalist Peter Windsor’s YouTube channel, Scarborough said that he did not expect to see these vanes on the car when it reaches the first race.
Although Ferrari claimed more pole positions than any other team last season, Scarborough was critical of the team’s design approach in 2022 and said that the F1-75 was never “quite as good as we thought it was”. Ferrari has continued its low-drag philosophy for 2023, which has disappointed Scarborough. He said that the car looks a lot like last year’s Ferrari and that it is not breaking the mould for Ferrari.
Scaborough said that although the car has a couple of nice detail changes, it has kept all the concepts from last year, particularly with the sidepods that worked well for the team. Ferrari has chosen not to mate those sidepods with the Alpine/Red Bull-style sloped sidepods. Instead, the sidepods still end high with a coke-bottle cooling exit. This is potentially inefficient compared to the big cannon outlets that other teams use.
Assessing some of the details on the SF-23, Scarborough explained that they have gone for a slightly shorter nose, and throughout the rest of the car, it is all pretty sensible. He said that they’ve followed the Alfa Romeo/Haas front suspension setup with quite a slope to the front wishbones but not especially high. Scarborough is underwhelmed with what Ferrari has put in front of them.
Reliability was a clear weakness for Ferrari in 2022, with a series of failures for Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. This led to the team running their engine in a detuned state in the second half of the season. If these issues can be resolved, Scarborough believes that a “battle of the concepts” is likely to take place, with Ferrari, Red Bull, and Mercedes using different methods to achieve lap time.