Alpine reveals the A523

The final 2023 Formula 1 car launch is Alpine and the French team unveiled its A523 at an event in London.

Alpine will continue racing as a national French racing blue and BWT pink livery on the A523, although it too follows the recent trend of leaving parts of its car in unpainted carbon fibre to save weight.

Drivers Esteban Ocon and newcomer Pierre Gasly, who joins from AlphaTauri, presented a car which appears to build on the strengths of its predecessor, the A522.

As in 2022, the team also presented a second, predominantly pink livery which will be used in the opening three races in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Australia.

Last year Ocon and Fernando Alonso enjoyed a solid year for the French manufacturer as it leapfrogged McLaren to claim fourth position in the constructors’ championship, behind top three teams Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes.

At first glance the A523 therefore seems to be an evolution rather than a revolution, building on the strong foundations laid last season as the Enstone team aims to continue reducing the gap to the frontrunners in 2023.

Along with a bulkier lateral part of the engine cover, which was also seen on the Mercedes W14, Alpine has replaced its mini shark fin with cooling louvres on the central part of the cover as some of the most eye-catching changes.

Ocon and Gasly will be hoping the A523 proves more reliable than its predecessor, with a spate of retirements preventing the team from scoring even better results in 2022.

Ocon and Alonso retired from seven races last season, with the double world champion suffering the brunt of Alpine’s reliability issues as its Renault power unit.

Alonso has since moved to Aston Martin, with Ocon now forming an all-French partnership with Gasly, who signed a multi-year deal with Alpine last October.

The French duo got a first taste of the A523 at a Silverstone shakedown on Monday, with Ocon completing nine laps before Gasly took over and ran a further eight laps until the team reached its 100km allowance for filming days.

Alpine’s 2023 ambition is to continue on its 100-race plan to win a world championship, a roadmap which it embarked on last year.

According to team boss Otmar Szafnauer that means that the team has to continue showing progress and be “closer to third than to fifth”.

“We have to take a step closer to being able to win a championship, which is what we wanted to do in 100 races,” he said.

“That 100 started at the beginning of [2022], so it’s less than 80 from now on.

“We need to do the same, but we need to be closer to third than we are to fifth. So even if we stay fourth, we’ve got to make progress.”

Black beauty for the Mercedes W14

Back in black! The Mercedes team have gone back to the black livery in a bid to save weight with the W14.

In a digital launch broadcast online, Mercedes revealed the updated W14 Formula 1 car alongside drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, team principal Toto Wolff and new reserve driver Mick Schumacher.

The W14 features a striking black livery, used by Mercedes through 2020 and 2021 as part of its anti-racism messaging. The team returned to its traditional silver last year but has now reverted to black as part what the team called a “significant project” to reduce overall weight.

Following the launch, both Hamilton and Russell are set to get a first taste of the Mercedes W14 car during a shakedown at Silverstone later.

“Our hopes and expectations are always to be capable of fighting for a world championship,” said Wolff.

“However, our competitors were very strong last year, and we are playing catch-up. Racing at the front requires resilience, teamwork, and determination.

“We face up to every challenge, we put the team first, and we will leave no stone unturned in the chase for every millisecond. This year, we are going all in to get back in front.”

Mercedes enters the 2023 season looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2022 that saw its eight-season streak of constructors’ championships come to an abrupt end.

The team struggled to get to grips with the new technical regulations as both Hamilton and Russell were left facing a recurring porpoising issue through the early part of the season.

Although an update at the Spanish Grand Prix helped combat the issue, Mercedes continued to find deeper issues with the W13 car that technical director Mike Elliott said were “baked in” to its design.

It ultimately ended the year with just a single victory in Brazil thanks to Russell, as it finished third in the constructors’ championship.

“Last year was difficult but it came with lots of learnings,” said Wolff. “I hope 2023 will be proof that we have understood how to unravel the problems and improve the package of the car.”

Mercedes has retained its slim sidepod concept from 2022, but has made noticeable tweaks to design such as around the gulley bodywork on the engine cover. The team also said it has chased areas including a “significantly lighter chassis, revised front suspension geometry, cooling system adjustments and a refined aerodynamic concept based on last year’s learning” to improve performance.

“Last year, once we had figured out what we needed to do, it took a huge amount of work to get ourselves moving forward,” said Elliott.

“Towards the end of the season, you could see the performance improving and the winter has been a reset. We have done all the things that we wanted to do with the W13 last year but weren’t able to because of resource constraints or because our focus was elsewhere fixing other issues.”

Hopefully this new Mercedes will return the team back to competitiveness and the black livery certainly looks great. Best wishes to the season ahead.

Ferrari launches the SF-23 at Maranello

Scuderia Ferrari has revealed the new SF-23 Formula 1 car that it hopes to be able to challenge for the world championship this season.

In an event at Maranello on Valentine’s Day, the Italian outfit was joined by new team principal Fred Vasseur as well as its drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz for the unveiling.

The SF-23 builds on the progress the team made with last year’s F1-75, which won four races and secured 12 pole positions.

But, after failing to capitalise on early season promise as rival Red Bull roared to both championship titles, Ferrari has undergone a winter of change.

Mattia Binotto stepped down as team principal before Christmas and has been replaced by former Alfa Romeo chief Vasseur.

The new team boss knows that the pressure is on him to capitalise on the momentum that Ferrari has built up over recent seasons.

Speaking to the media recently, he was clear, however, that he felt Ferrari did not need a radical evolution to be able to deliver on its world title ambitions.

“I’m really convinced that Ferrari today, and, for sure, my experience is limited to the last two weeks, but we have everything to win,” Vasseur said in his first media call.

“We have to put everything together to do a good job, but we have everything to be able to win.

“You can have a look at the results of the last decades that the wheel is always running, and it’s just a matter of continuous improvement for me.”

While Ferrari hopes the new SF-23 will deliver aerodynamic improvements, one key area of focus for the team has been in lifting its engine reliability.

Leclerc’s title challenge suffered major blows at the Azerbaijan and Spanish Grands Prix when the driver suffered engine failures when in the lead.

In a bid to sort out its troubles, Ferrari had to turn down its power unit for much of the remainder of the season before finally being able to unleash more potential at the season finale in Abu Dhabi.

Another key factor that Ferrari will be looking to address is working out what prompted it to make several key strategic mistakes over the season, and ensuring there is no repeat in 2023.

The SF-23 is certainly a good-looking racing car. The black and red livery works well and the Ferrari brand on the rear wing looks so nice. Fingers crossed the team can finally achieve the championship this season.

Aston Martin AMR23 revealed

This is the new aggressive-looking AMR23 from Aston Martin. The team created this 2023 Formula 1 racer “without compromise” in a bid to move up the competitive order.

After a challenging start to the 2022 season, where the Silverstone-based outfit had to change concept early on, it believes it has made a good step over the winter period.

Technical director Dan Fallows said the new AMR23 was 95 percent different from its predecessor, with the outfit having adopted some key changes heading in to 2023.

This includes a heavily revised front wing, new sidepods that incorporate a much more aggressive sweeping inner ramp, and a different engine cover that includes a larger roll hoop inlet.

Fallows said that Aston Martin had not wanted to hold back in pushing the boundaries of what was possible, as it set sights on moving up the grid.

“The design team was adamant that it wanted to tackle these regulations without compromise,” he said. “We want to move up the grid and start challenging the teams at the front – and you can’t do that by sitting back and being conservative.

“AMR23 is a significant development of the car we refined in the latter half of 2022 – and we have improved it in every critical area. It optimises the solutions we felt would offer us the most performance, and it embodies the joint vision we have embraced and have built together over the recent months.”

Despite the extensive nature of the changes to the car, Fallows was clear that the team had carried over a lot of the positives of last year’s car.

“We went into this year trying to be bold and aggressive, to try to take on the lessons from last year,” he said.

“We did make quite a bit of progress through AMR22. We wanted to make sure that this is a sensible evolution of that, but it also gives us a really good platform to develop on.

“But, at the same time, we wanted to make sure that it was aggressive: to give a big challenge to all of the engineering team to make sure that they really push themselves. And I think you can see that, in the design of the car.”

New signing Fernandno Alonso joins the team this year, replacing the four-time champion Sebastian Vettel, who retired from the sport in the final race at Abu Dhabi. The former Alpine driver will race alongside Lance Stroll for the upcoming season.

McLaren Racing’s new MCL60 racer

This is the 2023 Formula 1 car from McLaren, celebrating the team’s 60th anniversary of its 1963 founding.

In a launch event at its Woking factory, McLaren also presented new driver Oscar Piastri alongside Lando Norris, and Andrea Stella, who takes over as team principal following Andreas Seidl’s departure to the Sauber-run Alfa Romeo squad at the end of last year.

The MCL60 appears to be very much an evolution in terms of the aerodynamic concept begun with the MCL36, with additional updates to the sidepods which the team switched to running last year, in a similar style to those featured on the successful Red Bull RB18.

The new car’s sidepods have been tightened and feature a bigger undercut compared to its predecessor, which suggests McLaren is being less conservative when it comes to the cooling demands of its second car built to Formula 1’s new ground-effects rules.

Speaking to the media after the MCL60’s launch event, McLaren boss Zak Brown said: “I think we have identified the shortcomings of last year’s car and worked hard to tackle it on this year’s car.

“I think we got most of it right, but we know there’s still a couple areas that we’re not where we want to be.”

The MCL60’s livery is also broadly similar to the colour scheme the MCL36 was running by the end of 2022 – with orange patches added to the rear wing and removed from the front wing.

The new McLaren is again running with a large chunk of bare carbon fibre at the centre of its livery as the team – along with many of its rivals judging by the looks of the cars revealed so far in the pre-season – again strives to operate at the 798kg weight limit.

New look for AlphaTauri in 2023

The Scuderia AlphaTauri team showed off its new colour scheme at an event hosted in the Lincoln Centre, during New York fashion week.

The tweaked livery features slightly more red than last year, which has been prompted by a new sponsorship deal with PKN Orlen.

Team principal Franz Tost said that the squad’s decision to hold its livery launch in the United States was testament to the growth of Formula 1 in the country.

“As we know, Formula 1 has seen a huge increase in popularity due to the likes of Netflix and social media over the last few years,” he said.

“So, it’s extremely important that we continue to grow in this market, which is why I’m pleased we were able to launch our 2023 livery here today in New York City to show our appreciation to the US audience.”

AlphaTauri is coming off the back of a quite difficult 2022 campaign, where it finished ninth in the constructors’ championship after failing to make the most of the opportunities of the new rules.

The team’s biggest problem was a lack of consistency with its car, with Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda able to fight for some good points on some weekends but then being well adrift on others.

The AT03 appeared especially well-suited to slow speed venues but struggled more at the faster circuits when downforce demands increased.

There have been suggestions that the team will go for a different concept with its AT04 that could bring it more in line with what sister team Red Bull has done.

The 2023 designs that have been revealed by other teams are already pointing towards a number of teams taking ideas from last year’s dominant RB18, so it would make perfect sense for AlphaTauri to follow suit.

AlphaTauri has also made some changes on the driver front with Gasly having been replaced by Nyck de Vries.

The former Formula E driver was signed by the team in the wake of his impressive Formula 1 debut at the Italian Grand Prix, when he stood in for Alex Albon at Williams, taking a ninth-place result.

AlphaTauri has high hopes that de Vries, despite being a rookie, can help give the team the guidance it needs to move up the order.

Speaking last year, Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko said: “Of course. Yuki is young and doesn’t have this experience and background, so [Nyck] should lead the team.

“We will see how it goes next year, but from the experience and the personality he has, he should be the team leader.”

Alfa Romeo shows off their 2023 Formula 1 racer

This is the new look from Alfa Romeo with the C43, featuring an eye-catching red and carbon black livery and some interesting aerodynamic tweaks as part of 2023 rules.

The C43’s livery has been designed by Alfa Romeo’s main road car styling department, without the white that has been part of the established look since the company first joined forces with Sauber as a sponsor in 2018.

Alfa Romeo’s deal with the Swiss organisation ends this year prior to two transition seasons with Ferrari power before the team becomes the works Audi outfit in 2026.

The new livery marks both Alfa’s final fling in Formula 1 and the switch of title sponsor from Orlen to Stake.

The team unveiled a show car at a launch event in Switzerland, as well as issuing CGI images. The real C43 will be seen for the first time when it undertakes a filming day in Barcelona later this week.

New Sauber CEO Andreas Seidl has opted to keep a low profile for the time being as he begins his main task of building up the organisation ahead of Audi’s arrival.

Alfa Romeo will thus be overseen on race weekends by managing director Alessandro Alunni Bravi, who has been nominated as team representative.

“Bringing a car to life is a long process which touches every department of a racing team, therefore it’s a moment of great pride to see it unveiled today,” said the Italian.

“We chose to do it in front of our fans, close to our home, because the launch of a new car is not only a moment to state your objectives for the season ahead – it’s also a time to give back to the people who have supported you, be it in the grandstands, in front of the TV or back at the factory, and express our gratitude for their passion and their belief in our project.

“Our new car is the results of months of work, but today is just the beginning of a journey. We need to keep working hard, with humility and dedication, to bring performance to the track.

“Everyone in the team is committed to this target and I am confident we will reap the rewards of our work.”

The team describes the C43 as an evolution of its predecessor. However, it features substantial changes at the rear, with a new gearbox, rear suspension and cooling layout, with all the changes designed to address weaknesses that were apparent last year.

The other key focus was reliability after the team suffered a series of problems in 2022.

“I am very proud of what we have achieved over these last months, because creating a new car is always a massive effort from the team,” said technical director Jan Monchaux.

“This car is an evolution of last year, reflecting the new regulations and introducing major changes in the areas where we found improvements to be needed.

“I hope it’s going to be quicker than the successful car we had last year, that’s what matters most, and more reliable as well – we have put a lot of effort in this direction.

“Now, it’s time to get to the track and see how this car performs. I’m happy to get back to racing and I’m confident there will be much more to come from us soon.”

Williams reveals livery for 2023 season

The Williams Racing team has revealed their 2023 car livery, as well as introducing new driver Logan Sargeant alongside Alex Albon.

In a dedicated event organised at its Grove factory, Williams showcased the colour scheme that will eventually be used on the FW45 car the team is currently finishing building.

The 2023 livery bears a considerable resemblance to the colours with which it ended running in the 2022 season, albeit with more of the upper surfaces painted in a new matte finish compared to the largely all-black carbonfibre approach it had to use to help hit Formula 1’s minimum weight requirements last year.

The livery, which was showcased on an FW44 model, does feature prominent new branding afforded to Gulf International as the oil company has been signed as a new partner for 2022 after its deal with McLaren ended at 2022’s conclusion.

Williams described its 2023 livery as an “evolution” of what adorned the FW44 and was “retaining the brand visual cues which features a contrasting diamond shape and flashes of red and blue, embodying the exciting new era of Williams Racing [under Dorilton Capital ownership]”.

Although it did not show the finished FW45, a Williams statement described it overall as “an evolution of the FW44”, although featuring what it calls a “heavily evolved” sidepod concept, with additional “modifications to the front suspension layout as well as the major external aerodynamic surfaces”.

Williams claims its soon-to-be released 2023 challenger is “more aerodynamically efficient than the FW44” with “more overall downforce and improved handling characteristics”.

The FW45’s livery was revealed by Williams board member James Matthews and Gulf CEO Mike Jones, flanked by Albon, Sargeant and 2023 Indy NXT driver Jamie Chadwick, who remains part of the Williams driver academy she joined in 2019 and from which Sargeant graduates this year.

Ex-Mercedes strategy boss James Vowles was recently announced as Williams’ replacement for Jost Capito as team principal but was not present at the livery launch as he will only start working for the squad on 20 February following his release from Mercedes.

Matthew Savage, Williams’ board chairman, said: “As Williams Racing continues its transformation, we’re proud to unveil this year’s livery.

“We are excited about this year’s car, and I cannot thank the entire team at Grove enough for their hard work to get ready for the season. I am delighted to welcome both new and existing partners to our journey.

“With our new team principal James Vowles joining us later this month, as well as our exciting driver line-up of Alex and Logan, Williams Racing will be giving its all in 2023.”

Albon added: “I’m really excited to be starting back for another year with the team. The car looks great and will hit the track at Silverstone.

“The team has worked really hard last year and over the winter to address some key areas in our car, putting in the work to try and maximise what we get out of the car for 2023, so I’m looking forward to seeing what the FW45 can do.

“We also welcome new partners to the team this year, so it’s great to have them onboard.”

Sargeant said he is “really excited for the season to get started after what, for me, feels like a long winter!”

“I’m super motivated and we’ve put a lot of hard work in,” he continued. “The car is looking amazing and it shows the huge effort the team has put in the off-season, so I’m looking forward to getting started at Silverstone before heading out to Bahrain.”

Red Bull unveils 2023 F1 look in New York

The defending world champions Red Bull Racing has unveiled their 2023 livery at a New York launch event.

Red Bull opted to hold its season launch in the Big Apple in front of its American title sponsor Oracle, revealing a look similar to its previous colour schemes on a show car.

Oracle continues to occupy the prime sponsor slots on the car. Its actual 2023 challenger, the RB19, is still kept tightly under wraps.

The Red Bull launch was accompanied by the news that Ford will return to Formula 1 as the team’s engine partner from the 2026 season onwards.

The Blue Oval returns after a 22-year hiatus when it last badged the Cosworth engines used by the Jaguar Racing team.

Red Bull is already far down the line with its own engine design for the new 2026 power unit regulations at its Red Bull Powertrains division, but had been open to an OEM partnership after the collapse of a potential deal with Porsche.

Until then the Milton Keynes outfit will continue to work with Honda, which has an increased presence on the car just 15 months after officially withdrawing from Formula 1.

Drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez are aiming to replicate Red Bull’s unprecedented 2022 season in which it finally broke Mercedes’s eight-year streak to win the constructors’ championship, its first teams’ title since 2013.

Verstappen wrapped up his second drivers’ world title in Japan, with four rounds to go, as Perez lost out to Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc by three points in the battle for second position.

The Red Bull driver also set an all-time record with his haul of 15 Grand Prix wins in a single season, breaking a record previously shared by Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher.

For 2023, Red Bull is expecting fierce competition from both Ferrari and a resurgent Mercedes.

Its challenge is hampered by a ten percent reduction in wind tunnel time as part of its punishment for breaching 2021’s cost cap.

That reduction is compounded by Red Bull having the smallest wind tunnel allotment out of all teams as part of Formula 1’s Aerodynamic Testing Restrictions, a success penalty for being the reigning world champion.