MARENELLO, Italy—Putting last season’s disappointments both with drivers as well as decisions by members of the team, Scuderia Ferrari launched their SF 23 on Tuesday, with the opportunity to prove that they are once again title contenders to champions Red Bull Racing.

For the Italian team, they are attempting to win another driver and constructors’ championship for the first time in 15 years, when Kimi Raikkonen was victorious.

It was obvious that the management had to change, and with this decision at the top, the team ousted Mattia Binotto and replaced him with Frenchman Frederic Vasseur, who began his team management career with a short stint with the then-Renault formula one team, and later with Alfa Romeo Sauber before his dramatic switch to one of the most popular teams in F1.

Vasseur believes that it will rely on the performance of the car and reliability in the first few races that will determine how the rest of the season will go.

"I think the priority for everybody is reliability because when you are at this stage of the season and you don't have the reliability, you are not able to do the three days [testing] and then you are starting on the wrong foot," Vasseur said. "Based on the data from the dyno we are all optimistic, but only Bahrain will tell us where we are in terms of reliability and performance. So far it is OK."

Last season, the team only won a handful of races compared to the domination of Max Verstappen and the Red Bull outfit. In addition, there could have been some moments where the team could have been a lot closer to battling their rivals. But Vasseur as far as the pit wall is concerned, is not making any adjustments for the time being.

"We will make some small adjustments, but what you see is just the visible part of the iceberg and when you speak about strategy it is not just one person pushing on a button, it is software, team at the factory and also processes on the pit wall," he said. "It is a complete picture and not about one person."

The chassis side has the involvement of Enrico Cardile, who stated that the concepts of last years’ car is still there, but the whole design is very different.

"Our 2023 car is an evolution of the one we raced last year, but in reality, it has been completely redesigned," he said. "On the aerodynamic side, we increased vertical downforce, to adapt further to the new aero regulations and achieve the desired balance characteristics.

The suspension has also been redesigned, to support aerodynamics and increase the range of adjustments that can be made to the car at the track. The most obvious changes are in the area of the front suspension where we have moved to a low track rod.

Ferrari has a different design for this years' car to challenge for the top position. Ferrari photo

The front wing is also different, as is the construction of the nose, while the bodywork is a more extreme version of what we saw last season."

Both drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz return to the team for another season, and it did not take long to transfer the car to the nearby Fiorano circuit to have a quick shakedown of the new racer. With a huge crown of Tifosi present, it was Leclerc who won the coin toss to be the first to test the car, which for the time being, did not show any problems before the squad heads to Bahrain for the first official test next week.

By Mark Gero

Charles Leclerc tests the new SF 23 Tuesday at the Fiorano Circuit in front of many fans who attended. Ferrari photo