Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis
Topic

Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

Tech insight: A closer look at the Alfa Romeo C39

Alfa Romeo teased fans a few days ago with images of the C39 in a shakedown livery ahead of pre-season testing. Revealing its car in full livery on Wednesday has now given us a chance to appreciate some of its new design aspects

Tech insight: A closer look at the Alfa Romeo C39
Alfa Romeo C39 detail

Alfa Romeo C39 detail

Photo by: Alfa Romeo

Alfa led the charge last year when it came to the ‘unloaded’ style front wing, perhaps with even the most aggressive variant on the grid. It’s business as usual on that front for 2020 too, with the team still employing a very lowly hung outboard section.

However, where we do see change is in the curled mainplane and secondary flap, which will encourage more airflow under the wing.

Alfa Romeo Racing C38 front wing detail

Alfa Romeo Racing C38 front wing detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

This is last year's front wing as a comparison, which as we can see has a much blunter approach than the C39’s design.

Alfa Romeo C39 detail

Alfa Romeo C39 detail

Photo by: Alfa Romeo

Alfa already had a tri-inlet arrangement at the front of its car last year, in order to benefit from the airflow being able to pass down through the structure.

However, this year it appears to have opted for a little bit of style over substance, as the central inlet now has the distinctive Alfa Romeo grille shape to it.

Alfa Romeo C39 detail

Alfa Romeo C39 detail

Photo by: Alfa Romeo

The sidepod arrangement is very similar to last year but there are significant alterations when it comes to their bargeboards, deflectors and associated aero parts. The C39 now sports a twin boomerang arrangement, in a similar fashion to the ones seen over at Ferrari.

The uppermost element blends into the new deflector panel, which has a new distinctive shape to the leading element and is accompanied by two of the Venetian blind-style panels that reach back to tall vertical elements.

Alfa Romeo C39 detail

Alfa Romeo C39 detail

Photo by: Alfa Romeo

Alfa was an early adopter of the upright extension solution on its front suspension, which lifts the upper wishbone into a more aerodynamically desirable location. However, it has taken this a step further still for 2020, raising the entire front suspension substantially, with the lower wishbone now much closer to the wheel centre. 

Alfa Romeo C39 detail

Alfa Romeo C39 detail

Photo by: Alfa Romeo

Currently there’s no sign of the hedgehog fins that protruded from the vanity panel on last year's car but that’s not to say that the team doesn’t have something up its sleeve for future application.

Alfa Romeo Racing C38 fins

Alfa Romeo Racing C38 fins

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The hedgehog vanes used by Alfa on their C38.

Alfa Romeo C39 detail

Alfa Romeo C39 detail

Photo by: Alfa Romeo

Alfa has followed Ferrari's lead this season in utilising a trapezoidal airbox and roll over structure. However, a large cooling hood is also placed behind this in order to feed the plethora of coolers and ancillaries buried behind the power unit.

Alfa Romeo C39 detail

Alfa Romeo C39 detail

Photo by: Alfa Romeo

A huge amount of work has gone into the contouring of the C39's rear wing in order to reduce the drag that's created at the wing tips. You'll note how the leading edge of the endplate leans away from the horizontal and curves in toward the rear cutout to achieve this. Enforcing this effort are several rows of upwash strikes too.

Alfa Romeo Racing C38 rear wing detail

Alfa Romeo Racing C38 rear wing detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Alfa introduced this rear wing endplate design feature on the C38 having seen it applied to the STR14.

shares
comments

Gallery: The best photos from the Barcelona F1 test

Why Red Bull's juniors are in stylish limbo

The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline

The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
GP Racing

Throwback: The 1987 Lotus 99T The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
GP Racing

The story of Ken Tyrrell's team How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Alex Kalinuackas

Assessing Hamilton's Mercedes stint Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Why new-look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

Why new-look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Jonathan Noble

Why new-look Haas is a litmus test Why new-look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Alex Kalinauckas

Assessing Wolff's Mercedes influence The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
GP Racing

The line-up Ocon, Gasly may emulate The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
GP Racing

Who were the fastest F1 drivers? Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Nico Hulkenberg: Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

Nico Hulkenberg: Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Adam Cooper

Why Hulkenberg is ready for return Nico Hulkenberg: Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return