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Formula 1

The Alpine upgrade Alonso’s running ‘blind’ at Imola

by Edd Straw
3 min read

Fernando Alonso ran Alpine’s modified floor and beam wing “blind” in qualifying for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, having only trialled the upgrade for the first time during Friday’s sole free practice session.

The new floor features detail changes on the outboard edge of the floor, as well as the addition of a stay towards the rear. The beam wing tweak is designed to work with the floor modification.

Alpine F1 floor comparison

The team was keen to run the new parts, but both because of the need to gather understanding of the new parts and the fact that changing the floor was a big task given it also required changes to other components it committed to using them throughout the weekend.

Alonso qualified fifth in the wet/dry/wet conditions, with the upgrades understood to have worked in line with expectations.

Provided no problems arise with the new parts during the rest of the weekend, they will be used on both cars in Miami in two weeks. Team-mate Esteban Ocon continues to run the old specification, without the floor stay, at Imola.

Alpine F1 old floor

“There is an updated floor on my car this weekend and hopefully we will see more performance with this,” said Alonso before the start of running on Friday.

“With the current weather, that will be impossible to test in FP1 so we will go into the weekend somehow blind and we will find out Sunday afternoon if it was a good step or bad step.

“Hopefully, it’s more performance and we can have it in Miami with both cars.”


Alpine F1 floor comparison

Alpine’s new floor features developments on the outboard edge that should help to induce stronger vortices that improve the sealing of the floor’s rear section as it blends into the diffuser area.

The main change is moving the exit ducts further forward, as indicated by the red arrow pointing at one of the sidepod body fixings.

This permits the rear exit duct (blue arrow) to be longer, allowing it to be less aggressive in the way the vortices are set up and maintained.

This, together with a revised detail on the rear beam wing – mainly at the outboard end – will improve the sealing on this area of the floor while retaining an air cushion between the flat outer foot area of the floor and the track surface.

Having this air cushion between this floor surface and the track surface will reduce the risk of porpoising, while still allowing the maximum performance from the underfloor.

This is because it will reduce the need for the ‘mechanical seal’ that happens when a flat surface of the car’s floor gets close to the track surface.

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