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Pre-season test F1

This is why Alpine's airbox is so bulky

Find out why the Alpine F1 team have chosen to run such a bulky engine cover on their 2021 A521 Formula 1 car.

Alonso Bahrain
To news overview © Alpine

With preseason testing officially underway, everyone has had a chance to view what the cars look like. While certain teams have found clever ways to navigate the 2021 rule changes, Alpine have decided to run with a bloated airbox.

However, the team's technical head Marcin Budkowski says that the decision to make the airbox so wide was a conscious one and it should hopefully lead to a performance advantage.

"It is a very conscious choice from a technical point of view," Budkowski said to RacingNews365.com among others.

"We found that it paid off to keep the sidepods a bit narrower, a philosophy that is not new in itself.

"That's why we moved some parts that take up a bit more space to the area just behind the air intake, it does indeed make the car look a bit clunky there, but it works for us."

Budkowski however said the unusual design does come with a drawback, with the car's center of gravity being affected.

"The center of gravity of the car has suffered somewhat, but that does not outweigh the aerodynamic gain."

The Alpine F1 team have looked solid so far in testing with their lead driver Fernando Alonso in particular looking like he never left the sport despite his two year sabbatical from Formula 1.

Formula 1 pre-season test 2021 RN365 News dossier


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