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Senior Ferrari designer resigns after disappointing start in Bahrain

One of the main designers of the SF-23 has left Ferrari after the team got off to a poor start in Bahrain.

Days after a disappointing start to their 2023 campaign, Ferrari has lost a senior technical figure involved in the design of the SF-23. Frenchman David Sanchez has resigned from his role as Head of Vehicle Concepts at Ferrari, after spending over 10 years at the team. According to sources his departure is due to the poor performance of the SF-23, which was meant to improve on the failings that were present in the F1-75. Instead Charles Leclerc retired while running in third place during the Bahrain GP and Carlos Sainz finished fourth after being overtaken by Fernando Alonso in the Aston Martin. This was after the team made precautionary changes to the control electronics and energy store to Leclerc’s car, taking up the second of both allocated power unit components. A third of either would result in a 10-place grid penalty in the future.

Sanchez departure not good timing for Ferrari

Sanchez was one of the main personnel that worked alongside former Team Principal Mattia Binotto, having played a key role in the teams return to form in 2017. The departure of such a key figure within the team at a time when it is facing a challenge to work out how to close the gap to Red Bull is far from ideal. While certain sources suggest his departure is due to disappointing car performance, others believe Sanchez has been made an offer at a rival team for the future. Prior to his role at Ferrari, he was working at McLaren as an aerodynamicist. Sanchez would need to serve a gardening leave before taking up work elsewhere at a different team. Team Principal Frederic Vasseur is adamant that they can make their car concept work, while also cautioning that the team needs a "clear picture" on where they are failing after Leclerc's retirement. The team did not comment when approached by RacingNews365.

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