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Former F1 driver curious to see how 'handful' Ferrari reacts in Barcelona

There is a lot of unused potential in the SF-23 that could be unlocked in the race at Barcelona according to Alex Wurz.

Leclerc Sainz Ferrari Monaco GP 2023
To news overview © XPBimages

It's no secret that the Ferrari SF-23 is a difficult car to drive at the hands of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.

During the Monaco Grand Prix weekend the team appeared to be in the hunt for pole, after Sainz set the early pace in practice. But a change overnight into Saturday saw both drivers struggle with setup, as Sainz crashed in FP3 and Leclerc missed out on a front row start.

Former F1 driver Alex Wurz could see how difficult the car was to drive standing at the high speed Swimming Pool chicane, believing that the ride height has been troublesome area for the SF-23.

"I'm curious what Ferrari will do in Barcelona, because I saw through the fast Swimming Pool chicane the car is actually a handful for the drivers," he told the F1 Nation podcast.

"It has quite a nasty rebound where it's just starting to bounce off, and then they really struggle. And we shouldn't forget Barcelona will be much more high speed. So that should be low ride height and in the extreme, progressive, hard end of the suspension.

"For the last two corners because they're flat, we're not going through the chicane. Turns two and three, then turn seven, while it's not bumpy you're touching the kerbs a little bit, and maybe they will struggle with the ride."

Verstappen worried about Ferrari threat

Ferrari set to introduce upgrades from Barcelona aimed at combatting its aerodynamic peakiness, however Wurz is worried that the team is bringing them at the expense of the drivability of the car for Leclerc and Sainz.

"Ironically it was Ferrari who had the least issues in the beginning of last year with the porpoising. So maybe on their development, they didn't feel it necessary to address porpoising and bouncing.

"Whereas the other teams did improve the ride quality, while they didn't. So let's see if Barcelona is again for them a difficult track for their ride and porpoising, causing issues for drivability which creates more driver mistakes and edgy driving styles."

Wurz claims Max Verstappen was genuinely worried about the pace of the Ferrari's after Friday practice in Monaco, believing that the team has some unused potential.

"In Monaco on Friday they were so fast, I walked next to Max Verstappen and he said 'We actually think they're faster than us' so they had the potential there, but they couldn't use it. So they need to show that in Barcelona."

F1 2023 Spanish Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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