There was a distinct air of confidence on the faces of both Ferrari drivers when the SF23 was launched by the Scuderia.
It was the sort of feeling that the Italian team has been crying out for in recent years and by the looks of things, it seems like the outfit believes it has a real winner on its hands ahead of the 2023 season.
The SF23 was on display in its full glory as the Prancing Horse showcased its abilities to the world, as the car took laps around the team’s famous test centre.
Ferrari is currently looking to end a title drought that spans all the way back to 2008 and judging by the buoyant mood in the camp, one can assume that they will at least be challenging for top honours once again.
There was plenty of banter between Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz (who has admitted Italian cuisine has made him a touch chunky), all in a positive way that has made fans buy into a growing sense of optimism.
The duo were connected with each other through an onboard radio as they checked out the car while taking laps on the circuit.
With little pressure involved at this stage of the season, the duo indulged in some hilarious banter.
The exchange took place between “engineer” Sainz and Leclerc.
“How’s the car? Are you happy with it?”
Leclerc didn’t seem too keen on replying initially, instead saying, “Hello, mate! Can I do another round?”
Sainz was having none of it.
“No, no, no! Box, box, box, box, box. It’s my turn,” the Spaniard said.
Leclerc then felt the best chance of getting his way was probably to answer Sainz’ initial question.
“It feels good. I think we’re off to a really good start, because I’m pretty sure we’re the fastest on the track. That’s a good omen. But everything feels good, mate.”
“You’re P1 right now,” Sainz said with a laugh.
“P1, baby!” Leclerc joked.
The best thing about the entire exchange was the general warmth with which both drivers spoke with each other.
It is a promising sign for Ferrari as keeping a good team dynamic will be pivotal for the team as it looks to challenge for the world championship.
If the SF23 is indeed as good as the drivers seem to suggest, this warmth and friendship could be tested as matters get more intense on the track.
However, that will be a welcome problem for Ferrari fans, who have spent considerable time waiting for their team to deliver a car capable of competing for the championship.