Technical: McLaren and Ferrari introduced significant upgrades at the Red Bull Ring

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The Austrian Grand Prix saw Ferrari and McLaren introduce heavily updated parts for their cars as both team chase performance after their low-key start to the 2023 F1 season. F1Technical’s senior writer Balázs Szabó looks back at the development work from the Austrian Grand Prix.

The relentless development work has continued in Austria with several teams unleashing updates for their cars with only Mercedes, Aston Martin, Alpine or Alfa Romeo keeping their machines in the previous configuration.


McLaren brought the most extensive suite of changes to its car, with the sidepod inlet, floor body and engine cover the most significant components changing.

The new bodywork follows Red Bull’s downwash concept with its significant undercut, but also takes inspiration from Aston Martin’s approach, featuring wider sidepods with deep and pronounced waterslides. It meant that the Woking-based outfit has joined teams like Ferrari and Mercedes with this design philosophy.

In conjunction with the new bodywork configuration, both halo fairing and furniture have been updated to aid flow conditioning over the top of the Bodywork.

With the floor regarded as the main source of downforce in the new technical era, it is no surprise that the upgrade package included a heavily revised floor. The new solution features updated fence, floor edge as well as diffuser shape.

The British team has also reshaped the MCL60’s engine cover to improve flow conditioning to the floor, resulting in a slight increase in load.

Moreover, the new bodywork shape prompted McLaren to revise its cooling openings as well. The new configuration sports a revised shoulder louvre geometry featuring various steps, to enable adequate cooling for various ambient conditions.

Red Bull

Despite dominating the first part of the season, Red Bull constantly bring updates to their car. On home turf, the Milton Keynes outfit introduced an update to the rear suspension of their RB19.

It included revised surfaces on the rear lower wishbone fairings with the aim to improve local flow stability and maintain attached flow in all conditions.


Formula One’s American outfit Haas introduced a reliability upgrade on the nose of their car. It included a new chassis pitot that combines a lower aerodynamic disturbance and an improved functionality in the operations and data analysis.

The pitot is a fundamental instrument for the work in wind tunnel. Haas hopes that the new pitot configuration will improve the overall quality with a latest generation combination of components and instrumentation.


Formula One’s Faenza-based outfit has had a very difficult season so far with only two points have been gained up to this point of the current season.

The Red Bull-owned Italian squad debuted several modifications on their AT03 at the Red Bull Ring. It included a modification to the rear wing with the way in which the wing elements roll over into the endplate body having been changed. The tip detail change is expected to lead to an efficient increase in the local load that is generated by the upper rear wing assembly.

Further down the rear wing, the beam wing has also been updated. The wing elements have been revised in chord and camber. The change was a circuit-specific update as this new assembly generated an intermediate level of loading compared to the other options available to suit this circuit's efficiency requirements.

Another circuit-specific change was the modification to the cooling louvres. The new design features an increase in exit area with the team trying to modify the car’s cooling configuration due to the combination of high ambient temperatures and the altitude of the circuit above sea-level.


After realizing correlation issues between on and off-track data at the start of the 2023 F1 season, Ferrari kicked off a relentless development work to turn around their fortunes.

The Spanish Grand Prix saw the Scuderia unleash the first part of a significant upgrade package for their SF23, including a completely new sidepod and engine cover design with the team eager to pursue a different development path, abandoning its unique bathtub configuration.

Ferrari pushed forward two key upgraded parts that were initially planned for the Hungarian Grand Prix. As a result of the development push, the Maranello-based outfit revised each element of the front wing of their SF23 with the mainplane, flap and endplane all going through a revision.

The team stated that the aim of this front wing update is to reduce further aero structure losses and their impact downstream, together with more flexibility on aero balance adjustment.

Furthermore, the Scuderia revised their SF23’s floor fences, edges, and the mid-floor while the diffuser sidewalls have also been reprofiled. The team stated that “the floor topology has been revised focusing on mainly losses management and load distribution, which translates into a car efficiency increase.”

Following their significant upgrade package at Barcelona, the team also made further slight changes to the sidepod undercut design at the Red Bull Ring.


Williamsintroduced a heavily upgraded car in Montreal two weeks ago. However, the Grove-based outfit could only produce the upgraded parts for one car with Alexander Albon receiving the package in Canada.

At the Red Bull Ring, Formula One’s second most successful outfit updated the outer most fence on the new floor carcass. The upper trailing edge is further inboard and the leading edge fillet is larger. Williams expects that the modification that alters the floor fence local load will make a better use of the onset flow to generate a small increase in local load.

Furthermore, the front brake duct vane has been reprofiled around the tyre edge with the position of the lower section have also been adjusted.