With a different circuit that lay in front of them compared to last weekend’s GP in Singapore, the Ferrari and Mercedes teams have brought in a few upgrades to their cars for the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka.
Given the nature of the circuit in Japan, it is highly likely that Red Bull’s RB19 would dominate once again. Considering the same point, Ferrari has ruled out an obvious second win and thus, brought its car new parts to up the ante against the championship leader. Not only Ferrari, Mercedes too has pitched in some considerable upgrades for its W14 F1 car to make it Suzuka-ready after a pretty successful run last weekend in Singapore, minus George Russell’s unlucky crash.
Ferrari Upgrades: Scuderia Ferrari has brought in an entirely new floor body for its SF-23. In addition, the team also made modifications to the floor edges, floor fences, diffuser sidewall, and mid floor.
To accommodate the new floor and the related changes, the team has had to forcefully modify the undercut of the sidepods. This, however, is part of the car’s standard development process and thus, is not specific to Suzuka alone. The aim of the upgrade is to increase the car’s efficiency through improved load distribution.
Mercedes Upgrades: Coming to Mercedes, the upgrades include a new rear wing for the W14 which has an extra vane to the outer face of the rear wing endplate, thus enabling the creation of a small vortex, good enough to cause some amount of downforce and drag.
The downforce being way less in Suzuka than last weekend’s Marina Bay Street Circuit, several other teams have also made changes to their cars. McLaren gets a new sidepod inlet and beam wing for its MCL60 while Aston Martin’s AMR23 receives a new front brake duct scoop.
Williams has brought new floor fences for its FW45 and as for AlphaTauri- the AT04 gets a new rear-view mirror and rear wing. Speaking of Red Bull, the Milton Keynes outfit will be testing the floor edges they removed from the car after the Friday practice in Singapore. However, with FP2 results out, the numbers display a dominant Red Bull from Max Verstappen while Ferrari, McLaren, and Mercedes follow in the same order.