Revealed: Alpine's aggressive F1 aero updates for Imola

Alpine has arrived at Imola with yet more parts to test as it looks to recoup the losses that all teams were subjected to by the new aerodynamic regulations for this season.

Revealed: Alpine's aggressive F1 aero updates for Imola

This comes off the back of an intensive test program that the former Renault F1 team undertook a few weeks ago in Bahrain as it endeavors to return to the sharp end of the grid.

The updated parts that will be tested by Alpine in Imola focus on the front end of the car this time, rather than the floor as they did a few weeks ago. Although, that’s not to say that those parts won’t once again be drawn into their test program, as the team looks for ways to improve the global performance of the car.

Read Also:

The team have two options when it comes to the design of their front wing endplate, with a notch taken out of the upper rear corner on one design and not the other (red arrow). This is a design feature we’ve seen deployed by various teams since the regulations changed in 2019 and has an impact on the ‘outwash effect’ that teams are continuously tweaking in order to improve flow past the front tyre and refine the flow received by the floor downstream.

Alpine A521 front wing comparison

Alpine A521 front wing comparison

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The team has also made changes to the shape of the front wing flaps at the inboard end (highlighted in green), with a new more curled-over design available for the team to trial at Imola. Changes made here are usually made in order to alter the shape and direction of the Y250 vortex, which is shed from the juncture of the front wing’s neutral section and mainplane section below.

Correlating with the front wing flap shape changes are alterations to the design of the cape too, with a revised inlet found in the central section (blue arrow), whilst a spear-like slat has also been added to the side of the cape (red arrow, inset).

Tech flashback to Bahrain trials

Alpine has already made significant changes to the A521 since it was first unveiled, with a slew of new parts tested during the first race weekend of the season. This resulted in it joining the growing ranks of teams using the Z-shaped floor cutout, with the team then pairing it with various other test items as it looked for the optimum level of performance from that area of the car.

Alpine A521 Floor comparison

Alpine A521 Floor comparison

Photo by: Uncredited

The floor tested during pre-season didn't have the Z-shaped cutout or fins (V1 and blue circle respectively). But, having installed a floor with the cutout, the team tested two other solutions.

V2 not only had the two silver-coloured fins mounted side-by-side and offset from one another, it also had two shorter triangular shaped fins mounted further downstream (red arrows). It decided to race a slightly less aggressive solution though, with just a single fin mounted on the edge of the floor cutout (V3).

A batch of solutions were also tested just ahead of the rear tyre too, with the single element strake used during the preseason test cast aside (V1), firstly in favour of the trio of strakes used during the back end of the preseason test (V2) and then in a combination test with two other solutions (V3 & V4).

V3 and V4 both have four sections to them, albeit in a slightly different way, with V3 only having slots a portion of the way down the surface, whilst V4 is made of four individual strakes.

shares
comments

Related video

Verstappen wants talks over FIA's 'messy' F1 track limits policing
Previous article

Verstappen wants talks over FIA's 'messy' F1 track limits policing

Next article

Alonso: I need to improve myself more than Alpine car

Alonso: I need to improve myself more than Alpine car
Nicholas Latifi: The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Prime

Nicholas Latifi: The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate and devoid of the usual racing driver airs and graces, Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

Formula 1
Aug 13, 2022
The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Prime

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Formula 1
Aug 12, 2022
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Prime

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Prime

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time F1 champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24. And now it’s happening again at his current team

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Why few would blame Leclerc if he leaves Ferrari in future Prime

Why few would blame Leclerc if he leaves Ferrari in future

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior.

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Prime

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Prime

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022
Could F1 move to a future beyond carbon fibre? Prime

Could F1 move to a future beyond carbon fibre?

Formula 1 has ambitious goals for improving its carbon footprint, but could this include banishing its favoured composite material? Pat Symonds considers the alternatives to carbon fibre and what use, if any, those materials have in a Formula 1 setting

Formula 1
Aug 6, 2022