Revealed: Ferrari to bring major upgrade, but not to catch Red Bull

Mercedes are expected to introduce a new concept at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, which will see the 'zero sidepods' removed.

Following their woeful start to the 2023 F1 season, it has been reported that Ferrari are set to join Mercedes by introducing new sidepods at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in May, but not in a bid to catch Red Bull.

The Italian edition of has reported that Ferrari are set to introduce an improved version of the SF-23 at their home race in Imola, with one of their most notable upgrades set to be new sidepods.

It’s believed, though, that the reason for the upgrades is to remain second in the pecking order and therefore fend-off any challenge from Aston Martin, rather than catch Red Bull.

This suggests that the Italians don’t see themselves as title contenders this season, something which will come as a disappointment to the Scuderia.

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Supposedly, the planned upgrades were initially pencilled in to be introduced at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, but will now be introduced at Imola due to them not being ready in time.

It means that Imola will see Mercedes and Ferrari present a new look, giving fans something to look forward to.

Mercedes are expected to ditch their ‘zero sidepods’ as part of their new concept, with team principal Toto Wolff having joked that Red Bull can “put a little sticker” on the W14 if the Germans new concept looks like the RB19.

“I don’t know, you can call it Red Bull or Aston Martin concept, [but] at the end, if it looks like an English double decker bus, we would do it if it was fast – put a little sticker, Red Bull, if they want to have it on,” Wolff told Sky Sports F1.

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“The question is, what is your benchmark? If you look at the Red Bulls, they’re just so quick, that I think we understand the car more is what I meant.

“I’m looking optimistic in the future because we just need to put it in a different window. We’re changing the bodywork of the car, how the floor works, all of these things mechanically.

“We’re looking at certain areas, and the team in Brackley is just flat out and that is really nice to see that we can monetise on the Sundays on that.”