Alfa Romeo’s Technical director Jan Monchaux said at the launch of the team’s 2023 Formula 1 car, the C43, that their hopes are high to pick up from where they left in 2022.
Alfa Romeo unveiled a new red and black livery on Tuesday for their final Formula 1 season as Title sponsors of Swiss-based Sauber, with the team setting their sights on moving up from sixth overall.
The team, who will become the Audi factory outfit from 2026, have an unchanged lineup in China’s Zhou Guanyu and experienced Finn Valtteri Bottas but new management after the departure of Fred Vasseur to Ferrari.
Andreas Seidl has moved from McLaren to become CEO of the Sauber Group while Italian Alessandro Alunni Bravi has been appointed representative rather than the formal title of principal.
Technical director Jan Monchaux said the new car, which will make its track debut for a filming day in Barcelona on Friday before pre-season testing in Bahrain, was an evolution of the 2022 version with an emphasis on improved reliability.
“We concentrated mainly on the rear part of the car,” he explained at a livery launch in Zurich, describing the C43 as mean and “sexy” in its new livery.
This is #F1 2023, @alfaromeof1 style. #GetCloser pic.twitter.com/N17W8UJfB0
— Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake (@alfaromeof1) February 7, 2023
Focus on development of the rear part of the car
“We just wanted to be brave enough to do the next step in terms of pure development on the rear end which opened the door to a lot of other solutions we couldn’t implement last year,” he added.
Monchaux said there was a new rear suspension and gearbox while the cooling layout had been changed and the bodywork revised.
“Our hopes are high that we can continue where we ended up (last season) and fight for those high positions in the midfield,” he added.
He expected the “porpoising” phenomenon that dominated discussion early last season to no longer be an issue thanks to technical rule changes raising the side edges of the car’s floor.
“We have only three days of winter testing and if we were caught in a similar situation to last year then it would be a nightmare,” he said.
“If we spend a day or a day and a half in the garage trying to fix the car like happened last year during the first test in Barcelona, then the start of the season would be really in jeopardy. The hopes are quite high.”
Monchaux said there was likely to be a fierce battle in midfield with six or seven teams closer together in performance than previously.
“I think it’s going to be a season where the amount of grey hair will increase,” he said.
Bottas, who scored 49 of the team’s 55 points last year after moving from Mercedes, said he was “full of energy and keen to go”.
“We need to achieve more. It’s simple as that,” added the Finn. “We always need to aim for better, aim for higher, expecting better consistency, more points, better results. How to get there, that’s the tricky bit.” (Reporting by Alan Baldwin)