The pace Alpine has shown so far in 2022 looks promising, but the French marque is still being held back from scoring points by reliability issues and bad luck. The team is confident the pack is strong enough to fight at the top of midfield. Like many other teams, Alpine brings upgrades to Barcelona. Team boss Otmar Szafnauer says the biggest changes can be found at the rear. “We are bringing a new rear wing to Spain for both cars. It has to be more efficient and better than the last time we drove.”
Alpine has already innovated with the rear wing this F1 season. In Miami, the team returned to the design first used in Saudi Arabia. The new design could catch the attention of the competition as Alpine reverses a design trend.
Alpine A522 rear wing
The wing has received additional bodywork, as can be seen in the picture above. Normally F1 teams create a recess here to break up the vortex created when the pressure presses on the end plate and valve port. Conventional wisdom can perhaps be brushed aside when considering the role that the new curved endplate design has in the designer’s decisions when changing the Vortex. The influence of DRS should also be taken into account in this application. The division of the flap is now a little further in than the designers were used to.
In addition to the aerodynamic improvements, Alpine is also working intensively on weight reduction, as most teams are currently struggling in this area. Sporting director Alan Permane says the changes at Imola have already resulted in weight loss but the team is looking for more. “There are still some good steps ahead of us,” said Permane. “In terms of weight, we’re still a bit too big. I don’t think as much as others, but we’re definitely not as good as others. I’ve heard that some cars are under or on weight. “We’re a bit better now and have been improving steadily since race one, so of course we’re not sitting still.”