Teams have had two opportunities to evaluate upgrades in Japan, with both Friday practice sessions having concluded at Suzuka.
Out of the 10 teams in the paddock, six elected to bring upgrades to tackle one of Formula 1’s most-revered circuits.
Red Bull was amongst the teams not to bring new parts to Suzuka, which didn’t stop Verstappen from topping the timesheets in both FP1 and FP2.
Ferrari looked like the best of the rest throughout Friday’s sessions, which will come as a positive after debuting a raft of upgrades to the floor of its car.
The Scuderia revised the floor fences, edges, mid floor and diffuser sidewall, in conjunction with re-designing the undercut on the sidepod. The changes are designed to increase the overall aerodynamic efficiency of its SF-23 charger.
Mercedes has also opted to bring a solitary upgrade to Suzuka, electing to modify the Rear Wing via the addition of a vane on the outer face of the endplate, designed to generate additional downforce.
McLaren’s mighty development process continues with two further revisions to the MCL60: a new offloaded beam wing and a sidepod inlet packer. The former is designed specifically to meet the aero requirements of Suzuka and the latter to improve airflow and cooling.
Aston Martin will be looking to bounce back from the team’s first pointless weekend of 2023 in Singapore and aims to get back in the scoresheet via a solitary circuit-specific upgrade.
The AMR23 sees revisions made to the front brake ducts, with a smaller inlet area typically incorporated for circuits such as Suzuka where braking requirements are lower than average.
Yuki Tsunoda (JPN), Scuderia Alpha Tauri 22.09.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 17, Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka, Japan, Practice Day. – www.xpbimages.com, EMail: firstname.lastname@example.org © Copyright: Charniaux / XPB Images
AlphaTauri has made two upgrades to the AT04 for this weekend’s action.
The first is a modification to the rear wing tips, said to work in harmony with Suzuka’s specific aero requirements, while the second is the reintroduction of a part tested at Monza – namely the rearview mirror minus three turning vanes.
AlphaTauri seeks to discover how the removal of the turning vanes affects the AT04 at Suzuka, in comparison to the low-drag Monza circuit.
Williams is the final team to bring any sort of upgrades along for the Japanese GP, having reduced the height of the most inboard forward floor fence on the Gulf-liveried FW45.
Thus far, the upgrades at Williams have been put to good use by Alex Albon, who finished eighth in FP1 and seventh in FP2.
Along with Red Bull, Alpine, Alfa Romeo and Haas didn’t bring any upgrades to Suzuka this weekend, with the latter putting a pause on its current car concept, in order to debut a revised ‘downwash’ concept in Austin next month.
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