Alfa Romeo has become the first team to unveil a 2023 Formula 1 design, aiming to continue the progress made last year.
The Swiss-based team, which enters its final year as Alfa Romeo, has moved from ninth place in the 2021 championship to sixth last season.
The new C43 has revised aerodynamics, focusing on a redesigned rear end.
“We have to do more. We always have to aim higher. Better consistency, more points,” said Valtteri Bottas.
The model unveiled by lead driver Bottas and teammate Zhou Guanyu was a show car, but an exact copy of the 2023 design as it will run for the first time at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in a two-day test at the end. of the week – scheduled for Friday and Saturday.
The machines featured in Red Bull and Williams launches so far this month have been static models representing generic cars rather than definitive 2023 models.
Technical director Jan Monchaux said: “We focused mainly on the rear part of the car, which opened the door to many other developments that we weren’t able to use last season.
“It was also clear that we had a lot of reliability issues, so we changed a lot of things on the car to address that issue.
Some of the design features reflect the approach taken by Red Bull in 2022, which won a world double with one of the most dominant seasons in F1 history after a major rule change before last year.
This is particularly noticeable in the shape of the side pods, which appear to have been inspired by Red Bull in terms of how they direct airflow to the rear.
“There were better solutions to manage the flow to the diffuser and to the rear tires,” Monchaux said. “The decision we made left us stuck in a corner.”
He said changes to the rear of the car allowed for a major overhaul of the cooling system – radiators etc. – which freed up design possibilities with the bodywork.
“We believe that some of the weaknesses we had from an aerodynamic point of view have been greatly improved thanks to the new potential that we have unlocked with this new bodywork and the new way of working the floor between the rear tires,” Monchaux said. .
New rules for this season increase the edges of the ground by 15mm in an effort to limit aerodynamic bouncing – or “porpoising” – which has been experienced by many teams.
Monchaux said the switch cost 0.5 seconds per lap but he had “no doubt” most teams would recoup that loss and more.
Team representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi – alongside Monchaux, one of the team’s four principals under new chief executive Andreas Seidl in a new management structure introduced last month – said: “Our vision is to bring us closer to the front.
“We don’t want to set targets. We want to continue to grow and improve the team in all areas, have a better overall performance throughout the season and be more consistent.”
The team, also known by its original name of Sauber, is in the process of being taken over by Audi. Their Alfa Romeo brand will disappear after this season.
Seidl was set up to prepare the team for the German car giant’s official entry in 2026 with a new powertrain designed according to the regulations that will come into force that year.
Seidl was present at the launch but did not participate in the press conference.