What?  was it the launch trick or the end of the design?

What? was it the launch trick or the end of the design?

When the Alfa Romeo 2023 F1 car brought the C43 to the track for the first time as part of the shakedown, the base, which was one of the car’s most striking features at launch, was missing from the car on the track.

The car that Valtteri Bottas took to the track in Barcelona had a completely different design than the one shown in the launch photos.

While the base rim of the launch car was largely designed with multiple cutouts, the actual car launched on the track had a more traditional patterned sole.

Absence of this bold structure; It raised the curiosity of whether the team came up with this design on purpose to distract their opponents for a few days, or if it was the unintended result of a design method that was considered but later abandoned.

To know the truth, we will have to wait for the first tests to start and the answers from the team there.

The interesting thing about the pointed solution seen on the C43 at launch is that while the design may seem out of the ordinary for an F1 car, it’s actually a perfectly acceptable way to deal with current regulations.

So the design could be an early example of what the team is working on as they review the new rule changes in 2023. So if the design later went in a different direction, the team may not have seen a strong need to update the launch visuals.

From a legal point of view, the long forward vertical spar with the nine fins attached to it appears to comply with the rules for the base edge and ‘side spar’, as they are placed on the vertical board to be supported by brackets, which is also allowed.

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There were two interesting effects to consider with this solution, except that the fins were placed on the vertical wing.

First, on the left, we see that the wing provides an air flow zone between it and the sidepod.

Second, on the right, we can see that the wing is placed above the ground level (the yellow line section) and the brackets create a path for the air to flow around from the wing.

Currently, this base is not visible in the car. The floor design featured in the Shakedown had more in common with designs seen throughout 2022.

At first glance, it appears to be a combination of Gurney’s small touches seen on the Red Bull, the sickle-shaped Mercedes side wing, the Ferrari rear end and the winglet protruding from under the floor.

Considering the 2023 rule change and the performance sensitivity offered by the region, we are sure that we will see a good distribution of design ideas in the core segment and Alfa Romeo has already given us a lot to think about.

Alfa Romeo C43 lower edge

Photo: Alfa Romeo

Different team techniques

The new ground effect vehicles added value to the aerodynamics of the undercarriage. It is no wonder that the edges of the floor are the center of brilliant thinking.

Last year, there was no consensus on the grid about the best solution as all teams approached this area of ​​the car in different ways.

Mercedes W13 base comparison

Photo: Giorgio Piola

Mercedes started the 2022 season with a completely different car than the one that came in the Bahrain test. One feature that quickly entered the history of F1 technology was the disturbed floor edge.

Mercedes W13 wings

Photo: Giorgio Piola

The arrival of the Zeropod body design coincides with the use of a simpler floor molding design. This was something the team would work on throughout the season to improve performance.

Ferrari F1-75 and McLaren MCL36 basic comparison

Photo: Giorgio Piola

McLaren’s use of an L-Shaped side wing at the first test/shakedown in Barcelona caught the attention of both onlookers and rival teams, and as a result Ferrari quickly built its own version.

Red Bull RB18 Racing exclusive details

Photo: Giorgio Piola

Red Bull’s RB18 had no visible side wing. Instead, the team chose a rear floor reduced by cutouts, the difference in height between the sections, reminiscent of the 2021 solution.

Red Bull RB18 Racing exclusive details

Photo: Giorgio Piola

Small changes were made to the RB18’s sole throughout the season, including the use of this Gurney wing in the front of the tread.

New Mercedes W13 base comparison

Photo: Giorgio Piola

While developing a sickle-shaped side wing throughout the season, Mercedes also made changes to the rotating parts to take advantage of the new airflow parameters.

Red Bull RB18 Racing exclusive details

Photo: Giorgio Piola

Red Bull took the cut-and-slap layout that some teams used along with the “skating” solution and added their own solution.

Aston Martin AMR22 base comparison

Photo: Giorgio Piola

Taking a cue from Red Bull’s side and floor concept earlier in the season, Aston Martin further improved the ground edge by adding a Gurney fin and rear spoiler with a protruding wing.

Exclusive details of the Alpine A522

Photo: Giorgio Piola

Alpine also joined the party at the end of the season, adding its version of the cutting and wing combination.

Basic information of Mercedes W13

Photo: Giorgio Piola

At the same time, Mercedes continued to improve the contours of the land by adding decorations to the fallen surfaces.