Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis
Topic

Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

Tech insight: How Alfa Romeo experimented in testing

The Sauber-run Alfa Romeo team is entering its second season under the identity of the famous Italian car manufacturer with high ambitions to make progress up the Formula 1 grid. Here Giorgio Piola and Matt Somerfield look at the steps the team took with its 2020 design during pre-season testing.

Tech insight: How Alfa Romeo experimented in testing
Alfa Romeo C39 front wing

Alfa Romeo C39 front wing

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The team tested a new variant of its front wing, which looks to build upon its ‘unloaded’ concept introduced in 2019.

The design of its mainplane has essentially been inverted, with a raised section used at the inboard end to encourage flow under the wing, while the outboard section now dips to discourage it (green highlight approximates the shape of the old design). The chord and geometry of the flaps thereafter have also been optimised to take advantage of this.

These changes are likely designed to reduce the wing’s pitch sensitivity, tune the Y250 vortex that’s shed at the mainplane and neutral section's juncture, plus improve flow out and across the front of the tyre.

Alfa Romeo Racing C39 detail

Alfa Romeo Racing C39 detail

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

The team added its own version of the now widely adopted ‘bunny ears’ on top of its chassis for the second test. These L-shaped aero devices are to help tie-in the airflow over this section of the car.

Alfa’s interpretation of this design is a two-piece affair, which is then split into two in the horizontal section as well.

Alfa Romeo Racing C38 fins

Alfa Romeo Racing C38 fins

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Alfa Romeo had these fins in a similar location last season. At the rear end of the cape, a new vane appeared too (red arrow), split into two in the upper section. This will help to pull airflow out towards the bargeboard region more effectively.

Alfa Romeo Racing C39 rear wing pillar detail comparison

Alfa Romeo Racing C39 rear wing pillar detail comparison

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The team briefly trialled a new rear wing pillar configuration at Barcelona too, which featured a much bolder swan-neck design (left) than the ones seen on the Alfa before (right).

Standing almost as tall as the central DRS actuator pod, it’s expected that the team is looking to impart an aerodynamic gain across the entire span of the wing and maybe even help improve the effect of DRS.

Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing C39

Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing C39

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Not isolated to just its new design, but certainly noteworthy, is how the team has also reduced the height of the flaps at the outer edges, in order to soften the tip vortex and reduce drag.

Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo Racing C39, spins

Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo Racing C39, spins

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

The team also introduced a new engine cover during the second test. It’s a similar design to one used at points last season and doesn’t feature a full-length shark fin,but  rather a mini one at the back of the engine cover.

As a comparison, below is the taller engine cover fin seen on the C39 during the rest of the test.

Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo Racing C39

Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo Racing C39

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

shares
comments
Bahrain F1 race to go ahead without spectators

Previous article

Bahrain F1 race to go ahead without spectators

Next article

F1 tyre challenge bigger than ever in 2020 - Racing Point

F1 tyre challenge bigger than ever in 2020 - Racing Point
Load comments
Russian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Russian Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Russian GP was decided by late-arriving rain that allowed some to climb and caused others to plummet. But the events which played out beforehand are equally significant when considering the all-important driver ratings

The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race Prime

The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race

Until rain turned the Russian Grand Prix on its head in the closing stages, Lando Norris was set to convert his first Formula 1 pole position into a maiden win. But having recovered well from being shuffled back at the start, Hamilton and his Mercedes team called the changing conditions spot-on for a landmark 100th F1 victory

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces Prime

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2021
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Prime

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery Prime

Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi...

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1 Prime

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Prime

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. Damien Smith brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1.

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Prime

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021