SportF1So are the brave upgrades of the Alpine at...

So are the brave upgrades of the Alpine at Silverstone: change of course!

The Enstone team wanted to revolutionize the A522 and, after clearly going in the aerodynamic direction of Red Bull, the engineers led by Pat Fry decided to look for downforce by copying concepts that made the Ferrari unique.

That’s the most striking change to the new package introduced at Silverstone, which also features a different bonnet and modified floor.

The French brand continues to bring new solutions in each grand prix to try to dispute fourth place in the constructors’ championship with McLaren, given that the Woking team is only eight points ahead, but nobody would have imagined that Alpine would make a double change in your aerodynamic options.

If the A522 had been oriented in its development towards the philosophy of the Red Bull RB18, at Silverstone we witnessed a drastic change in orientation, embracing the options of the Ferrari F1-75. The Alpine is a single-seater that stood out for its speed on the straight, but seemed to lack downforce.

In an attempt to balance its characteristics, the team’s aerodynamicists did not hesitate to transform their car in the direction that was dictated in Maranello with the introduction of the hole in the upper part of the pontoons, the so-called pool.

That design, which is applied to a car that already existed (Ferrari, on the other hand, introduced it when creating its single-seater) is significantly different from that of the F1-75, but the concepts that have been applied are the same with the aim of improving the behavior of the A522 on tracks where downforce matters more than efficiency.

It is therefore not surprising that holes in the form of shark gills have appeared in the side of Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon’s car, an area that has been left very hollow, to expel heat from the Renault power unit. But what is striking is the presence of a channel that runs through the flow in depth on a brand new side panel.

Alpine thus tries to cross the options Red Bull-style with a sidepod top that blatantly resembles that of Ferrari. At Enstone they have made a big bet to try to overtake McLaren, and we must recognize their great courage in drastically changing their ideas when the halfway point of the season has not yet been reached. It will be interesting to see if so much effort gives the desired results…

Detail of the Alpine A522 sidepods

Detail of the Alpine A522 sidepods

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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Alpine A522 brake drum detail

Alpine A522 brake drum detail

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Photo by: Uncredited

Alpine A522 brake drum detail

Alpine A522 brake drum detail

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Photo by: Uncredited

Detail of the Alpine A522

Detail of the Alpine A522

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Photo by: Uncredited

As we checked it out, Esteban Ocon showed his confidence in the improvements and doesn’t think Alpine will take as long to get results, as it did for Aston Martin when they switched to a Red Bull-like concept from the Spanish GP .

In addition, the Frenchman praised the work of his team and its evolution in recent seasons: “The car looks nice, very detailed and the build quality… I have observed the car very closely, all the drawings, how it was built all”.

“And I have to say I’m very impressed with how all these things have improved over the years.”

“When I joined the team in 2016 as a reserve driver [before racing for Manor in the second half of that season and Force India/Racing Point in 2018-2019], things didn’t look the same and we’ve made a big step forward. “.

“After Canada, it was not clear to the guys to have the update in time, or at least not to have it in both cars. But in the end we have the improvements in both cars, and parts will arrive by this weekend.”

“They are doing an amazing job and I am very proud to see it in the cars.”

Alpine has also changed the shape of the front suspension pushrod to improve airflow in that area and then as it moves towards the rear of the car.

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