The start of the 2023 Formula 1 season It was not especially brilliant on the part of Scuderia Ferrari. Charles Leclerc, while running third, retired due to a problem in the same battery that he had just changed just before the Bahrain Grand Prix, and only Carlos Sainz was able to keep the Italian flag high with a fourth place. Even so, that position could have been better if it weren’t for the high degradation suffered by the SF-23 in Sakhir.
However, the worst news from the start of the World Cup has been quite another. The Spanish-French engineer David Sánchez, head of the vehicle concept, has announced his resignation from the Italian team and will leave Ferrari with immediate effect. After more than ten years in Maranellowhere he landed in October 2012, his departure does not seem to be motivated by the poor performance of the SF-23 in Bahrain, since the decision had been made and premeditated for some time.
His career at Ferrari so far had been ascendant and meteoric, replacing Dirk de Beer in 2016 before moving on to lead the entire aerodynamics department in 2019. In 2021, Sánchez was promoted to chief engineer, from where led the design and development of last year’s F1-75 and the current SF-23.
Sanchez was one of the reference figures of the Binotto eraand formerly one of the architects of the resurrection of the ‘prancing horse’ of 2017, when in support of Simone Resta gave birth to the SF70H. For all these reasons, his departure will undoubtedly have a very considerable and presumably negative impact on the Ferrari season, and that has just begun.
One of the fathers of the SF-23 leave the ship right at the start, and your absence could curb the development program of the car current. In addition, possible short-term replacements will have to come from the Scuderia itself, due to the prolonged periods of ‘gardening’ to which the main strongholds of the sector who already work for other teams are subjected, and surely none of them are fully guaranteed.
He ‘gardening‘ or gardening period, consists of a period of several months, mainly when the departures occur with the season started, in which the most reputable engineers who leave one team for another must stay away from all activitystill on salary, to avoid an immediate flight of concepts.
A process you already had to go through Dan Fallows on leaving Red Bull to land this year at Aston Martin, but that has not yet prevented the Austrian team from I accused him of implementing his own concepts in the AMR23stolen or imported from his stage under the orders of Adrian Newey.
The future of the Franco-Spanish engineer, who debuted in Formula 1 as a junior aerodynamicist at Renault during Fernando Alonso’s two successful yearsand has accumulated more than ten years of experience at Ferrari, could join, or rather return, to McLaren. Sánchez had already worked under the orders of McLaren between 2007 and 2011, developing the famous ‘F-Duct’ used by the team in 2010, and working on Lewis Hamilton’s world champion car in 2008.
The British team is actively looking for new talent under the supervision of James Keyafter the departure of several key components of the technical staff and the promotion of Andrea Stella as the new team manager after the unexpected departure of Andreas Seidlwho went to Sauber (Alfa Romeo).