The Alfa Romeo C43 is the first single-seater of the 2023 season that has unveiled itself, showing some guidelines for aerodynamic development that suggest what will be the orientation of other cars too in a path of convergence in basic choices.
And it is interesting to underline how the technical team directed by Jan Manchoux, who started from the idea of aiming for a double bottom in 2022, has converted to a concept that offers us a curious mix between the solutions adopted by Ferrari and Red Bull.
Giorgio Piola’s drawing unequivocally shows us the change of concept: the C42 was already conceived from the outset to be a flexible project and, therefore, the movement of the radiators from the very high horizontal position to the more traditional, inclined, it allowed the aerodynamicists to design a newly conceived belly which should give important advantages.
The radiator vents (2) are of a blatant Ferrari design: high, wide and narrow. The air flow has been slightly reduced in search of greater aerodynamic efficiency and better fluid dynamics inside the sides. In this way it was possible to increase the passage of air under the mouth, favoring an increase in the flow which contributes to the outwash effect, thanks to which one tries to push it outside the rear wheel.
From Ferrari advances we learned that the SF-23 will have smaller radiant masses because last year in Maranello a solution was approved which today is considered a bit excessive to the actual cooling needs. Alfa Romeo, therefore, benefits from a weight saving and a lower displacement of the masses to the advantage of a lower center of gravity, for which the behavior of the C43 should also become more agile.
Alfa Romeo C43: the seven points where it changes in the central part
Photo by: George Piola
The side, in addition to defining a deep excavation under the vents, highlights a sloping design in the upper part, which, however, follows the concepts expressed by the Red Bull RB18: the bodywork descends progressively towards the bottom (7), even if the Coca Cola has not been taken to extremes, preferring to maintain a certain surface area.
The huge gills that were used to extract the hot air from the radiators have given way to a much smaller grille (6), because the cooling system has been totally revised: the engine hood in the lower part follows the Red Bull dictates with two heat-draining cambers at the tail with a T-body that opens up like a megaphone.
The sidewalk at the bottom presents us with a curiosity: the trailing edge was cut and in a raised position of which centimeter from the reference plane it allowed the introduction of nine small flaps (1) of the same design and with identical inclination. The idea is interesting: the undisclosed intention is to generate those vortices that allow for the creation of a pneumatic skirt in an attempt to seal the bottom to the asphalt, despite the fact that the lateral trailing edge this year must be 15 mm higher by regulation .
This background will certainly not be what we will see in the first GP of the season in Bahrain, where the teams will drop their axes, but Alfa Romeo’s development line was deemed worthy of attention. Last year the C42 was judged to be an excellent machine from a mechanical point of view, with gaps in aerodynamic research. With the C43, the technicians from Hinwil are trying to make a leap in quality.
Alfa Romeo C43, detail of the heat dissipation slots
Photo by: Alfa Romeo
The mirror (3) maintains a horizontal support that extends from the passenger compartment and has a small support under the rear-view mirror: there are also two vertical flaps useful for directing the flows. The regulations for ground effect single-seaters do not define measurements, but volumes within which work is permitted.
Among the refinements in micro-aerodynamics, the small step (4) between the support of the Halo to the frame and the headrest and the small flow diverter on the sides of the safety crown stand out. Despite having kept last year’s chassis and transmission, the C43 has managed to change its face, giving a precise imprint to a much more aerodynamic look than that of 2022.
Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Alfa Romeo Team Representative
Photo by: Alfa Romeo
Alessandro Alunni Bravi, team representative, expects growth this year: Alfa Romeo finished sixth in the last Constructors’ championship. To improve, it will be necessary to aim for Alpine and McLaren who do not seem at all unattainable, bearing in mind that Aston Martin is also a candidate to aim higher…
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