The Italian outfit have brought a big upgrade package featuring new-look sidepods to this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix as they look to improve their fortunes following a disappointing start to the season. 

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The SF-23's sidepods have been significantly revised and mark a departure from the previous sculpted design the team first pioneered last year. 

Carlos Sainz debuted the new sidepods in opening practice in Barcelona, while teammate Charles Leclerc ran the old design as Ferrari conducted a back-to-back. 

“It’s a change for sure but it’s not a new car also,” Ferrari team principal Vasseur said of the upgrade package which also includes a revised floor edge. 

“We are making step forward and opening some doors for the future, but it’s not a complete change.” 

Asked what had prompted the change in philosophy, Vasseur replied: “It was for us the opportunity to open a new door for the development for the future. 

“It was quite promising, it means that we committed on this way. Let’s see what the next weeks will bring to us. But it was a tough decision.” 

Vasseur stressed it is too early to get a proper read into the updates but stressed “the first feeling is good”.

“We are expecting a step forward, not a huge one, but a step forward,” he added. 

“Also to open some doors for the future in terms of development. We will have other upgrades coming in the next couple of races. 

“It’s an opportunity also to take another direction. Even with this one, we are expecting to do a step forward.”

Vasseur confirmed Leclerc will get the chance to try out the new sidepods on Friday afternoon in second practice.