F1 teams have new Ferrari car suspicions as ‘FIA asked about legality’

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F1’s governing body the FIA have been reportedly asked to clarify one aspect of Ferrari’s new car and its legality ahead of the upcoming season. As each team have now unveiled their new machines before the curtain raiser in Bahrain, Ferrari’s new SF-23 was tested in front of a live audience and the team appeared proud of their innovations.

Ferrari have tweaked the S-Duct concept in order to create better airflow to the rear of the car low down and at the rear wing. However, according to Italian outlet Formu1a, several of their rivals have noted the change and requested clarification over whether the switch is legal.

Requests are not uncommon as teams often attempt to find loopholes in the technical rules, though Ferrari are said to be “certain that the solutions adopted on the SF-23 are fully within the rules”. Their rivals would struggle to replicate Ferrari’s S-Duct as it concerns the design of the chassis and internal aspects of the car, while also challenges the fundamental concept of the single-seater.

Though many teams have a lesser need to concentrate airflow in that area as they do only need to open slits in the central area of the car aside on the hottest races of the season.

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The FIA have previously ruled on a similar innovation that Mercedes attempted at the United States Grand Prix last year, as they had to remove their brackets. While at the Mexican GP, Mercedes attempted to use an upgraded front wing and rules were updated to ensure similar wings would be banned in December.

New team principal Frederic Vasseur has previously claimed that the team are “all optimistic” about the challenger they’ve built. “If you don’t have the reliability, then you are not able to do these three days and then you start on the wrong foot,” Vasseur said. “We have done the mileage we needed to do on the dyno and we are all optimistic, but only Bahrain will tell us where we are in terms of engine performance. So far it is ok.”

While Charles Leclerc has been impressed with Vasseur’s start on the team. “I was very impressed by how well he introduced himself in the team,” Leclerc said at the new car’s launch.

“Ferrari is very different to whatever we are used to before. Ferrari is huge. And once he got here, he understood extremely well the way Ferrari works from the first few days.

“He’s very clear in what he wants and he’s extremely good at putting the people in the right mindset and in the right ambience to give their best. And this is very important. So, that’s what he brings to Ferrari and I’m sure it will be a good thing.”

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