Ferrari respond to flexi-nose allegations

Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc have now both taken to the track in the Ferrari SF-23 in Bahrain for the first time.

Pre-season testing can be an absolute maze of information, with every team taking different approaches to getting the most out of their three days on track in Bahrain.

With every team taking different paths, the timing screens become more or less irrelevant, leaving fans to look for small details in the designs and performances of cars.

The 2023 F1 cars are still very varied, despite teams now having had a full year to have understand what works best under the new regulations.

One thing that some eagle-eyed fans have noticed from Thursday’s pre-season testing runs is the interesting behaviour of the SF-23’s front wing, the car which will be driven by Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc this year.

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When reaching high speeds, the nose of the SF-23 appeared to have a significant dent in it, a dent which would then disappear when the car slows down again.

Some fans speculated that this dent was an ingenious part of Ferrari’s SF-23 design, which would have some sort of benefit on the car’s performance.

As it turns out, the dent was a result of air resistance, which was forcing the nose to dent at the air resistance ramps up at high speed.

The Scuderia have now confirmed that this bending of the bodywork was “not intended” and it is expected that the dent, which would most likely have hindered the aerodynamics of the car, will be fixed as soon as possible.

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Carlos Sainz kicked off Ferrari’s pre-season testing on Thursday morning, before Charles Leclerc jumped in the SF-23 in the afternoon to round off a relatively successful first day for the team.

Despite the odd dent in the front wing of the SF-23 in the morning, Sainz’s first day of testing went exactly as the team would have hoped, with the Spaniard managing to complete a healthy 72 laps over the course of the morning.

Sainz managed to clock an impressive time of 1:33:253 and while lap times do not mean too much in pre-season, this time proves that Ferrari do at least have the capability to be both quick and reliable.