F1 2021 Car Reveals: Alfa Romeo C41 – How it compares to last year’s C39
Formula 1 car launch season has started and they’re coming thick and fast. Third to show their car is Alfa Romeo. The C41, named so due to the C40 designation having been used for what will be the 2022 car. As Alfa Romeo Sauber had already started work on the C40 when it was to be the 2021 car before the effects of Covid-19 pushed back the new rules, that kept its name and the C41 was born.
Much less confusingly, the C41 was launched at a press conference in Warsaw, Poland due to the team’s sponsorship from Orlen, with Alfa Romeo’s drivers Kimi Räikkönen, Antonio Giovinazzi and reserve Robert Kubica in attendance.
The livery of the new car is very aesthetically pleasing, though bearing in mind 2020’s car was one of the prettier cars on the grid and this flips the placement of those signature colourings, that comes as no surprise.
The cloverleaf and G.T.A. branding take a more significant place on the engine cover, referencing the Alfa Romeo performance variants in their road car project.
At6 the very front of the car, the nose looks significantly more rounded than the C39, aping the design approach seen by a few teams in 2020. The nose also seems a touch thinner than previously. The pylons attaching the front wing to the nose seem to be the same as before, though at the top they have brought the transition into the ‘cape’ much further forward, as has been popular since its introduction by Mercedes in 2017.
This is potentially in an effort to increase the cape’s effect of allowing the bargeboard elements to work more effectively. This then increases efficiency of the car in creating underfloor downforce, a required development with the FIA’s neutering of the floor and diffuser areas in effect.
Moving to the Front wing, the 5 permitted elements seem to stay higher above the main plane moving from the centre to the outboard edges of the wing than was seen in Abu Dhabi, suggesting a slight update to the concept of the wing.
The main plane below also has a new profile, utilising a tunnel in the wing just outside of the neutral section, then quickly maintaining a flatter profile than before. This seems to be in place to drive a pocket of clean airflow to a particular section of the underbody.
The vented nose is revised, with the required legality struts within the large, central opening. The altered nostrils are potentially arranged to work in tandem with the new cape design, increasing its effectiveness.
The bargeboard area has undergone some small revisions, but is fundamentally the same design as was seen in the season finale of 2020. There appears to be a smaller version of the secondary boomerang wing below the main boomerang element. This connects to the turning veins formed from the edge of the Zadara-adorned element.
Beyond this change to the turning vanes interaction to the horizontal elements, Alfa seem to be hiding what they plan to run when the car turns a wheel in anger.
Towards the rear of the car, the Italian outfit haven’t changed too much besides the tapering floor. The airbox intake and roll-hoop assembly look identical to the 2021 car, suggesting a similar architecture for the 2021 Ferrari power unit as before. This is backed up by the similar profile of the sidepods compared to last year’s effort.
The team also maintains the same rear wing assembly down to the T-wing double element design, twin swan neck pylons supporting the central wing section, and the endplate design.
At the rear of the new car, the wastegate exhaust maintains its larger, single pipe design as the Ferrari powered cars have used for some time now. Apart from the cut down strake length, a common feature on the 2021 cars owing to the regulations, Alfa seems to be hiding any developments they have concocted over the winter. for winter testing and the first round of the season.
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