Formula 1 Racing

Can Alpine make F1 design ideas count to move up the grid?

Alpine A524 detail

However, it has failed to leverage the kind of performance that results in consistent performances, which is something it hopes to resolve with the arrival of the A524.

Taking those ideas and joining up the rest of the dots will undoubtedly be a tall task, but early signs all point to them achieving those goals, as the A524 consolidates those solutions with new ideas, both from its own development programme and those discovered by others.

The obvious place to start with this generation of cars is the sidepods, as visually they hold clues to how the rest of the car has been shaped around them. In this respect, Alpine joined Red Bull and AlphaTauri at the beginning of this regulation cycle by having the now almost universal downwash ramp-style solution.

But Alpine was the first team to make a significant development beyond the simple ramp geometry that other teams have since adopted their own variants of. That switch to the gully-style sidepods gave Alpine a headstart on the rest and it is something that it has continued to optimise its package around since, with the A524 being no different.

Alpine A524 detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

At the front end of the sidepods it’s clear that there’s some inspiration drawn from Red Bull and the other teams that have since adopted a wide-but-shallow inlet, which also sees the lower leading edge drawn forward of the upper leading edge. This not only improves the quality of air reaching the internal components, it also results in much more design freedom for the lower section of the sidepod.

In this respect Alpine has ventured off in its own direction, pulling the inlet down towards the floor where it meets with the chassis to create an L-shaped design that not only affords more cooling, it also provides an alternative design feature for the sidepod’s undercut.

The upper surface of the sidepods and the gully-style system implemented has once again been refined to improve flow management to the rear of the car, whilst also being tailored to changes made to the engine cover and its shelf-like bodywork, along with revisions made to the cooling gill layout that straddles it.

Alpine A524 detail

Alpine A524 detail

Photo by: Jon Noble

Allied to the geometric alterations made to the sidepod bodywork, Alpine has completely reworked the floor’s edge and edge wing and incorporated similar design features to the ones seen on the RB19 last season.

This results in the floor being raised and rolled…

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