Ferrari SF-23 is 1 second quicker than its predecessor

Ferrari have reportedly unlocked an additional 30hp from their power unit, with the side having had the best straight-line speed during testing.

This weekend’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix will give Ferrari a true indicator of whether they’ll be in the title fight in 2023, or if they’ll simply be battling for second in the Constructors’ Championship, following a threat from an unexpected team.

Ferrari’s 2023 car – the SF-23 – is already a whole second quicker than their car from last season; however, Red Bull have also made huge strides with their car for the forthcoming campaign.

The reigning Constructors’ Champions enjoyed an excellent pre-season, whilst Ferrari’s painted a mixed picture.

Whilst Ferrari do look set to be in the fight with Red Bull, the early indicators based on pre-season testing last week is that the Austrians have the edge heading into the Bahrain International Circuit this weekend.

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The Maranello-based side may also be forced to look over their shoulder this weekend, with Aston Martin’s race run during the final day of testing having been virtually identical to Ferrari’s.

Aston Martin are certainly a huge threat to Ferrari in Bahrain, with it being a real possibility that former Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso might be battling them for a rostrum on Sunday.

Mercedes are an outsider going into the weekend, with the Germans appearing to once again be off the pace of Ferrari and Red Bull; however, they didn’t use the correct rear wing in Bahrain, suggesting that the Silver Arrows do have more pace in their locker.

Based on all of that, Ferrari will be hoping that their improved 2023 car will give Red Bull something to think about and “reject” improvements made by Aston Martin and potentially Mercedes.

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“SF-23 confirmed to be more than 1″sec faster than F1-75, next weekend we’ll see if it’s enough to reject [beat] MER/AM and make trouble for RedBull. Aero efficiency produced 10 km/h improvement,” revealed F1 journalist Giulian Duchessa.

Charles Leclerc heads into the weekend targeting a second consecutive win in Bahrain, with the Monegasque having fended-off Max Verstappen last season in what was an excellent battle.

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The 25-year-old, though, does think Ferrari have “work to do” ahead of the season opener, with Red Bull having been “very strong” during testing.

“I feel we’ve got some work to do,” Leclerc said, as reported by Sky Sports.

“Red Bull seems to be very strong in these three days.”