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Why Alfa Romeo made radical changes to their new car

Alfa Romeo were forced to be "brave" in the design of the C43 to be able to fix weaknesses from last season.

Alfa Romeo had to take "brave" decisions in the design of their 2023 Formula 1 car to unlock otherwise closed development paths, according to technical director Jan Monchaux. Alfa became the first squad to unveil their real 2023 car on Tuesday morning in Switzerland as Haas, Red Bull and Williams all showed off their new liveries on older cars. Known the the C43, it will be the final Alfa Romeo car in this current sponsorship cycle with Sauber Motorsport. After the 2023 season, Alfa are to step away, with the Sauber name returning for 2024 and 2025 before Audi's entry for the new regulations in 2026. However, despite the impending exit, the team have still produced a radically different looking car to the 2022 machine and drawing inspiration from Red Bull, with emphasis placed on the rear and the floor. And as Monchaux explained, this was a priority for Alfa to focus on when designing the new car.

Alfa's 'brave' development

"It was a project which started a couple of weeks after last year's roll out where we effectively started drafting the strategy for 2023," Monchaux explained to media, including RacingNews365.com. "It was relatively clear for us and we identified areas where we saw there was potential for us to unleash that we wouldn't be able to in the 2022 season. "Therefore we concentrated mainly on the rear part of the car where we wanted to be brave enough to take the next step. "In terms of pure development on the rear end, it opens the door to a lot of other solutions we couldn't implement last year. "Then throughout the season, it became relatively clear that we had reliability issues which then [became our focus], there are a lot of things we changed on the car but also internally to address it as historically we were always quite strong with reliability, but we somehow lost what used to be one of our biggest strengths."

Floor changes a challenge

One of the big problems with the new ground-effect cars was porpoising, with the FIA stepping in on safety grounds to introduce slight tweaks to the floor to prevent it. The edges of the floor on all cars has been raised by 15mm, and Monchaux says the challenge of adapting had Alfa "scratching their heads." "We like change, and so it is always a new opportunity when rules are changing," he explained. "We were slightly irritated by the timing because it was decided very late (August 2022), and usually late changes favour the bigger outfits. "The changes are mainly on the floor side where the FIA decided to lift the edges by 15 millimetres, it doesn't sound like a lot, but it was enough to keep us scratching our heads and having to redo the floor and the rear end of the car alongside those new rules. "[But] so far, I am pretty happy about the progress we did."

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