Carlos Sainz makes admission about Ferrari’s Spanish GP upgrades

Ferrari have scrapped the sidepod design they've used since the start of the new aerodynamic regulations.

Carlos Sainz has admitted that he “cannot complain” about his team’s efforts this weekend at the Spanish Grand Prix, with Ferrari having introduced a big upgrade package for the Spaniard’s home race.

Ferrari’s SF-23 is certainly looking different at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with the Italians having introduced a new sidepod design.

Mercedes, of course, introduced new sidepods last weekend at the Monaco Grand Prix, as part of their new concept.

Whilst Ferrari have denied to introducing a new concept, the new sidepods certainly suggest that they have decided to go in a different direction, following their poor start to 2023.

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The Maranello-based team find themselves fourth in the Constructors’ Championship ahead of the seventh round this weekend, with significant work to do to catch Mercedes and Aston Martin.

To close the gap to the front, Ferrari have scrapped their in-wash style sidepods for a downwash-style, similar to the design used by championship leaders Red Bull.

The switch sees Ferrari scrap the design they’ve used since the start of the new aerodynamic regulations last season, representing a complete revamp by the Italians.

Ferrari aren’t the only team to use Red Bull’s sidepod design as inspiration, with the likes of Mercedes, Aston Martin, and Alpine all running similar sidepods.

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Having now changed what was an integral part of their successful design last season, Ferrari will be hoping their race pace improves, with that being their biggest issue so far this year.

Charles Leclerc and Sainz have both shown excellent speed in qualifying; however, they’re often seen several seconds behind the frontrunners come Sunday.

High tyre degradation and varied grip levels are the suspected reason for this, with the hope being that a new sidepod design will eradicate some of their woes.

Sainz is delighted to see the new package and has praised the factory for working “flat out”, in order for the upgrades to be introduced earlier than originally scheduled.

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“I think I cannot complain about the package we’re bringing here,” Sainz said.

“You cannot imagine the effort Maranello has done in trying to bring this package forward.

“It was supposed to come a lot later in the season and the whole factory was just flat out these last few months because of the situation to try and bring it earlier.”