This morning Alfa Romeo pulled the covers off the C43 and became the first team of the year to showcase their new car design as well as their new livery.
The launch event, held jointly at the team’s base in Hinwil and a studio in Zurich, Alfa Romeo revealed the C43 which drops the white element from the livery over the past few years for a more aggressive looking black and red design.
The car beneath the paint, a showcar based on the C43, gave an idea of the changes that have gone into the design of the new season’s car. The team’s Technical Director, Jan Monchaux, explained that there have been a lot of changes compared to the C42, especially at the rear end as they weren’t able to change it during the season when they felt the concept “had come to a sort of plateau” in terms of performance.
“We decided to change the rear axis,” Monchaux said, “redoing the rear suspension, and therefore the gearbox casing, which then opens the door to new layouts, especially on the [cooling] side, which once in place allowed us to develop the bodywork.
“Then, evidently, all the rear-end work we see with the floor, alongside the new regs…so we’ve really been putting a lot of effort on the second part of the car, while the front will be successively developed during the season.
“[It is] quite a change for us in terms of the bodywork and how we handle the hot air coming from the radiators, compared to last year’s car. It’s not a revolution, similar solutions were on the grid already last year, but it’s something we couldn’t implement without a major change of the architecture.”
As well as all that, reliability has been a big focus for the team with internal processes being looked at along with components given Alfa Romeo lost out on opportunities during 2022 due to part failures.
“Historically, we were always very strong with reliability,” Monchaux continued, “but last year somehow we lost a little bit [of] what used to be one of our biggest strengths, so it was clearly one of the focuses, or one of the areas of major focus for us last winter.
“The car hasn’t run yet, so reliability is perfect! I assume it will stay as this. Touch wood, but I’m fairly confident we have left these issues behind us.”
The team’s driver lineup remains unchanged from last season with Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu continuing with the team in the final year of the Sauber/Alfa Romeo partnership.
“The C43 is finally here, and I cannot wait to bring it out on track,” Bottas said. “I really like our new livery, I think it’s stunning, and a fine evolution from last year’s one. It’s been an interesting first season with the team, we made some pretty solid progress together, and now there’s only one direction to follow: up, higher, and better.
“There is obviously still work to do and things to improve, but I am confident we have it in ourselves to aim for even higher results this year. I cannot wait to go back to racing, I am fully charged and eager to get the new season started.”
The drivers will get their first taste of how the new car feels at a shakedown session in Barcelona later this week.
“I am happy to finally see the C43 being unveiled after all the behind-the-scenes work that has been done in the past months,” Zhou said. “I think we are sporting a beautiful new design for 2023, and I am looking forward to driving the car in Barcelona in the next days, before properly getting the season started with winter testing in Bahrain.
“Last year, the team made me feel at home from the very start, welcoming me and giving me time to learn and improve. The expectation for this year is definitely higher, and I will carry all the experience from my rookie season into 2023. I’m excited for what’s coming, and I’m fully ready to attack.”
The showcar that was used at the launch is currently up for auction, with Alessandro Alunni Bravi, the Team Representative explaining that “The philosophy behind our launch has been to bring fans closer to the team, and auctioning this showcar fits within this narrative. As our launch car, this C43 showcar is a piece of history and the first step in what is hopefully going to be a successful season for our team.”