Alpine Formula 1 revealed how they had changed almost everything bar the steering wheel as they rolled out their 2024 car – designated A524 – which they describe as “aggressive” and “bold” for the forthcoming World Championship season.
Renault-owned Alpine ended last season sixth overall, dropping from fourth the previous year, with drivers Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly.
Today the French team launched their new car and will again race with two distinct liveries this season, with the Alpine A524 car predominantly pink for the opening eight races to reflect the colours of sponsor BWT before reverting to Alpine’s familiar blue.
During a launch presentation at the team’s Enstone factory, Alpine technical director Matt Harman said: “The A524 approach has been aggressive but deliberate in the fact we are creating a wider scope to add performance to the car. We have really focused on learning and reacting to what we have learnt rather than on results.”
“The project has been bold where we have focused on realising concepts, which we aim to add to the car. We’ve built ourselves a strong platform to add performance when we can and we have set ourselves targets to deliver that,” explained Harman.
Famin: We have no clue about where are the competitors
“We have pushed some elements to the limit and, in some cases, beyond that. That is all in line with our approach and exactly what we have set out to achieve in progressing this project to the best possible level,” added Harman.
Team principal Bruno Famin, who took over last year, said everything had to improve: “We have an idea of where we think we are compared to last year but we have no clue about where are the competitors.
Alpine’s Renault engine is at a 20-30 horsepower disadvantage to rivals, according to the governing FIA, with development frozen until 2026 when a new power unit is introduced.
However, Famin said there was still plenty of scope to find performance on the chassis side: “The pure ICE (engine) is a bit down, we know why. The FIA made it public. But at the end of the race, it’s not the engine and not the chassis that scores points but the car.
“The engine is what it is…a lot of things are frozen but we can also work on the integration, on the software, on the cooling. We are working on all of that…at the end of the story, what we need is a good car whatever the engine. We have to improve the engine but we have to improve the chassis, the aero, our understanding of the tyre. Everything. It’s all together we need to improve,” added Famin.
The sportscar maker launched their world endurance programme at the same time, with the two cars parked together and Germany’s Mick Schumacher — also a Mercedes F1 reserve driver — joining the lineup. (Report by Alan Baldwin)
Big Question: Will “bold and aggressive” get Alpine F1 team to the front?