New Alpine front wing and other updates for Suzuka · RaceFans

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The new season got off to a rough start for Alpine. They were the slowest team in all three rounds so far, and on two occasions the A524 didn’t seem faster than its predecessor.

The team embarked on a major change in design concept this year and believes that they have not been able to bring out the best in it so far. Part of the problem is getting the car down to the 798 kilogram minimum weight limit, which is why it’s gone with less paint so far.

Since the start of the season Alpine has lost some senior members of its design team, including Matt Harman who was technical director when the A524 was delivered. Group principal Bruno Famin has installed new managers in the design department charged with tackling the A524’s shortcomings.

Alpine launched its first update under new leadership at the Japan Grand Prix this weekend. Although it describes the change as a modest step, it aims to both lighten the car and improve its aerodynamic balance, which promises to be successful if they get it right.

Alpine front wing, Bahrain, 2024

The most notable change to the A524 is its front wing, all of which have been updated compared to the version used since the start of the season (above).

Especially the outer edges of the upper flaps are cut back. The team says the design of the “overloaded front wing” will provide “effective drag savings compared to the previous wing.”

Alpine front wing, Suzuka, 2024
Alpine front wing, Suzuka, 2024
Alpine front brake duct, Bahrain, 2024
Alpine front brake duct, Bahrain, 2024

Like Red Bull, Alpine also paid attention to the front brake ducts, reducing their size to improve aerodynamic efficiency on the track where the brakes are not used as much. The change was made to match the new shape of the front wing. Some leftovers were left when the team presented the car at Suzuka (below).

Alpine front brake duct, Suzuka, 2024
Alpine front brake duct, Suzuka, 2024

The team also uses a standard biplane wing design. This “lowers the beam wing and upper rear wing to increase the load on the ground compared to the previous version,” the team said.

Alpine rear wing, Suzuka, 2024
Alpine rear wing, Suzuka, 2024

Cool conditions in the opening practice session made it difficult for the team to assess the improvements made, said team principal Bruno Famin.

“They were struggling with heating the tires rather than testing its development,” he said. “We know that it’s not a big improvement that we have, it’s an improved part, in particular, the front wing here and we’re improving the aero performance and reducing the weight.”

The team continues its development program and will have more new parts for its car at the Miami Grand Prix in two rounds’ time.

“We are pushing as hard as we can in both industries,” said Famin. “In Viry, in energy management, the only way we can get to work is by law. And at Enstone, of course, especially in the aero and tire understanding development. We are pushing hard to improve that car.”

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