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Ferrari explain reasons for trying 'extreme' setup during testing

The team had a slow start to testing compared to main rivals Red Bull, but it was because they were testing out the limits of the SF-23.

Ferrari has so far had a muted start to Formula 1 pre-season testing, with the team yet to set the benchmark lap times set by rivals Red Bull. On the opening day it appeared as though Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were struggling with tyre grip throughout most of their race runs. This was one of the main problems that plagued the team in 2022 along with the porpoising - which was also still prevalent in the car - however Leclerc says it is all part of the team's "extreme" setup changes designed to find the limits of the car. "The first day was mostly to try and do extreme changes, to scan a little bit and to correlate all the real data with the data that we have back in Maranello for future development," explained Leclerc. "But it was not a matter of feeling, it was more a matter of going in different directions to try and understand the philosophy of this new car."

Leclerc: SF-23 showing 'good signs'

After the day of gathering data Leclerc says it matched up with what the team was expecting, which is a 'good sign' for their prospects. He added: "Everything kind of matches, which is a good sign. So this is positive. "This has to be done, just to see whether everything matches [with data at factory]. "We'll focus on trying to extract a bit more performance by being more at ease with the car." Leclerc's best lap on the opening day was good enough for fourth quickest, while his best effort on the second day was eight fastest. The Ferrari driver mostly ran race simulations to understand the performance of the car following the data exercise, with the team likely to show a truer picture of their pace relative to their rivals on the final day.

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