Alpine were the latest team to launch their season as they unveiled both their Formula 1 and World Endurance Championship cars at their Enstone base.
The team’s new F1 challenger, the A524, continues with the blue, pink and black colouring that they’ve displayed during their time in F1 so far, this time though the black is more prominent on the car, and, as there has been for the past couple of years, there will be a second, mostly BWT pink, version of the livery.
Whereas the pink version has only been seen in the first few rounds in past years, this season though the alternate livery is set to appear at eight races during the year.
Beneath the shiny exterior the A524 is vastly different than its predecessor with Technical Director, Mark Harman, saying that: “We have completely redesigned the chassis, we have a new rear suspension system, optimised the front suspension and integrated a new heat rejection system to give us more capacity to operate more efficiently at each event.
“In addition, we have completed a lot of work on our brake system, in particular on the thermal management of the brakes as there is performance to extract from transmitting heat through the system.
“Of course, the floor is a big performance differentiator on these cars and we have opted [for] an aggressive approach on development in that area to cover a lot of different concepts and really express ourselves. We have also changed the front wing and nose to manage airflow at the front of the car.”
He summed the project up saying: “The A524 approach has been aggressive but deliberate in the fact we are creating a wider scope to add performance to the car. We have really focused on learning and reacting to what we have learnt rather than on results. The project has been bold where we have focused on realising concepts, which we aim to add to the car. We’ve built ourselves a strong platform to add performance when we can and we have set ourselves targets to deliver those.”
Alpine will retain their all-French driver line-up of Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly for a second season, the two were very evenly matched last year, each having a best result of a P3 and finishing the season 11th and 12th in the championship with only four points separating them. Jack Doohan will once again serve as the team’s reserve driver.
“It goes without saying that I am super excited for the season,” Ocon said, “and I cannot wait to jump back in the car and go racing again. This time of the year is exciting as it is the moment we see what the team has produced. I have seen drawings, been on the simulator but, obviously, not yet seen or sampled the complete, real thing.
“That will wait until shakedown but it’s a nice moment for the team as it’s the culmination of thousands of hours of hard work. As a driver, it’s a goosebumps moment when you jump in a new car for the first time and release the pit limiter. That time is close now with the A524 and I really cannot wait to get started.”
With a year at the team under his belt, Gasly feels much more confident starting this season than last year’s and is hoping to be able to attack from the get go: “I would say that I am in a much better place right now than this time 12 months ago.
“I know exactly all the people I’m working with; I know all the processes and how to get the best out of those around me and out of myself. It is nice to have continuity and building on the foundations that we created last year. I’m feeling confident with the team I have around me. We have all been developing over the last year. Now I am confident that I can attack the season straight away and maximise the full potential of the team.”
The double-launch also saw Alpine’s first Hypercar, the A424, being debuted ahead of the WEC testing later this month. They will be running two cars in the series with Mick Schumacher lined up as one of the drivers for the #36 car, along with Nicolas Lapierre and Matthieu Vaxiviere. While the #35 will have Charles Milesi, Ferdinand Habsburg and Paul-Loup Chatin.
“It’s a great moment for Alpine Motorsports to come together and officially present its programmes for the 2024 season,” Bruno Famin, Alpine VP of Motorsports and Alpine F1 Team Principal, said. “It is certainly a unique moment to have both the A524 Formula 1 car and A424 Hypercar along with all the drivers in the same room as both projects prepare for what will undoubtedly be a busy and intense 2024 year.
“To see both the real cars here today is testament to all the hard work conducted behind the scenes at our factories from our thousands of talented employees in the United Kingdom and in France. The next stage on our journey is deploying everything to the track, applying operational excellence across the board and growing a greater dynamic and mindset from all our teams. We are all very much looking forward to continuing the hard work to bring the Alpine name success.”