The Red Bull and Ferrari philosophy behind Alpine’s upgrades


Alpine’s progress this season can be explained by the constant evolution of the A522. The French team didn’t just optimize a high-performance package, they also studied the solutions of their opponents and integrated them into their package. We have proof of this this weekend at the British GP as Alpine has modified the shape of the floor, the sidepods and the engine cover.

Unsurprisingly, it was the sidepods and engine cover that caught the most attention, as the team not only took inspiration from Ferrari but also moved closer to Red Bull by adopting the same « shelf » as the red bull. And given that both structures use a very similar solution on the pontoons, this is a key decision.

At the front of the sidepod, the surface area underneath has been increased while the bodywork has tightened further around the internal compounds. The top surface has been hollowed out in the style of the Ferrari F1-75 design. And, as with Ferrari, there are cooling grilles to better reject the heat generated and improve aerodynamics.

The A522 now sports a more imposing rounded shoulder, which forms a shelf over which airflow passes as it emerges from the Halo. This is not really new for Alpine, however the shape of this shoulder has been studied to improve the aerodynamic relationship with the hollow of the pontoon mentioned earlier.

This shelf is more or less inspired by the path AlphaTauri has taken since the start of the season but in the case of Alpine this translates to the flattening and lifting of the end of the shelf to take advantage of the new form of the beam wing, premiered at the Azerbaijan GP.

The rear of the Alpine A522

The rear of the Alpine A522

Alpine has also made changes to its floor, which appear to be focused on gaining performance on the far side. In other words, unless you see mechanics transporting an example or an Alpine finds itself lifted by a crane, it will be necessary to wait a little longer before getting an idea of ​​​​the extent of the changes made by the team. .

From the outside we can see that the rear ends of the floor and the transition with the diffuser have been optimized. This is underscored by the way the diffuser rises (red arrow below).

The shape of the flap located on the trailing edge of the floor, in front of the rear tire, has also been revised. The mousehole-shaped cutout in the side wall of the diffuser has been modified with the aim of changing the intensity of the airflow passing through this area, which is particularly important when taking into account the vortices formed by the tires and the outer section of the diffuser.

Interestingly, there is also a small depression on the pontoon ramp (green arrow below) which likely helps adjust the airflow path in this region. The metal found on the floor edge has been multiplied for Silverstone, with Alpine expecting higher loads this weekend and increased contact with the track.

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Close-up of the rear of the Alpine A522

Close-up of the rear of the Alpine A522

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