Formula 1 Racing

Ferrari set to delay new F1 rear suspension amid Imola downpour

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23

The Italian outfit is looking to make gains to its SF-23 to help address the issues it has faced in matching the pace of rival Red Bull in race conditions. 

While the car looks very competitive over a single lap in qualifying, its inconsistent performance and the lack of confidence that Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz have in it at times has left it lacking on Sundays. 

The squad has begun an upgrade plan, with a revised floor and diffuser arrangement introduced at the recent Miami Grand Prix. 

It is understood that Ferrari had originally planned to bring a new rear suspension to this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix to better complement the new aerodynamic solutions. 

However, with heavy rain forecast to interrupt the three days of action, and that making it very difficult to get a proper reading on car improvements, Ferrari is now likely to abandon the idea of making suspension changes for this event. 

Instead, with the next race in Monaco also not ideal for trying something radically different, Ferrari is likely to wait until the Spanish Grand Prix next month before it brings the new suspension. 

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Despite the weather forecast, it is understood that Ferrari will still introduce further modifications to its diffuser, which have delivered some promising figures in the wind tunnel. 

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While Ferrari continues to work on tweaks to the diffuser, a wider change of the underfloor area is also being worked on and could be introduced alongside the new suspension in Barcelona. 

While a number of teams, including Mercedes and AlphaTauri, are bringing major upgrades for Imola, not all squads are electing to bring new parts here. 

The fresh challenge that teams will face with new tyre allocation rules have prompted Williams to believe that it could gain more from focusing on strategy elements alone with a proven package, rather than trying any fresh components. 

Dave Robson, Williams’ head of vehicle performance, said: “With fewer sets of tyres available, we have opted not to bring significant new items to this event, and we will instead focus on the new event format, the new wet tyres and the challenge of using the softest compounds at Imola.” 

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