Formula 1: Alfa Romeo unveils eye-catching red and white livery – latest car on 2022 grid

The C42 will be firmly in the hands of 10-time race winner Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu, China’s first F1 driver and only rookie on the grid in 2022.

Last update: 02/27/22 09:11

The Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN has been unveiled in an eye-catching red and white livery

Alfa Romeo has unveiled its car for the new era – an eye-catching red and white livery – completing the grid for the new Formula 1 season.

The C42, powered by a new Ferrari engine, is a subtle nod to the past and heritage of Alfa Romeo and Sauber Motorsport, marking the Hinwil team’s 30th year in F1.

After five years at Mercedes, Valtteri Bottas has signed a multi-year contract with the Hinwil-based team and the Finn has been suitably impressed with the new car.

“I think the livery is really nice, the Alfa Romeo Centro Stile did a brilliant job,” said the 32-year-old.

“It’s my first car at Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN, of course, which makes it special, and I’m really looking forward to being on the Bahrain grid with it. What’s exciting is that we We have no idea how this first race is going to work out.”

Guanyu Zhou, who will become the first Chinese Formula 1 driver this season, made his test debut in a camouflaged car.

Speaking of the red and white look, the 22-year-old said: “I’m completely pumped up for the season and seeing the C42 in the livery I’ll be racing it in definitely makes it feel real.

“We are at the start of a new era, with new cars and new regulations, and that creates an opportunity for all the teams to progress as we are all starting from zero.

“I’m looking forward to being on the grid with this car and working with my team to drive home the results we are aiming for together.”

The teams will travel to Bahrain for another three-day test from March 10-12 before the season opener in the island kingdom on March 20 – live on sky sports.

Explaining F1’s spectacular new cars

Why is F1 changing?
You’re probably wondering why – after one of the most exciting seasons in decades – F1 is completely overhauling its rules and its cars.

There are a few explanations for this. Traditionally regulations have been changed for safety, as if F1 continues to let teams make their cars faster and faster – the last era of cars was the fastest ever – so it becomes more and more difficult to make the sport as safe as possible.

That may have been a factor in this year’s revolution, although the main reason was that F1 wanted to move on from an era that was – Max Verstappen’s title win aside – dominated by Mercedes, while providing fewer overtaking opportunities than expected due to the weight, speed and downforce of the cars.

The new rules, which were originally scheduled for 2021 before being delayed due to the pandemic, are primarily about improving the spectacle, and F1 is hoping for unpredictability and plenty of excitement.

Mercedes technical director James Allison explains in detail the challenges ahead as Formula 1 prepares for one of the biggest rule and car changes in history

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Mercedes technical director James Allison explains in detail the challenges ahead as Formula 1 prepares for one of the biggest rule and car changes in history

Mercedes technical director James Allison explains in detail the challenges ahead as Formula 1 prepares for one of the biggest rule and car changes in history

What are the changes?
The rule changes mean we have a whole new generation of cars.

The concept, marking one of the biggest technical changes in F1 history, has been overhauled in recent years and is, in essence, a streamlined yet striking new race car after a drastic aero overhaul.

The main changes are:

  • A ground effect floor. The 2022 car has two long tunnels under the floor which create “ground effect”, meaning there is more suction under the car to pull it down to the tarmac, while also ensuring that greater downforce is generated under the car. The concept was popular in the 1970s and 1980s in F1.
  • A simplified front wing and a new sharp rear wing. These not only look great, but the all-new parts of the 2022 cars have been designed to stop sending airflow outward, narrowing it instead. The curved rear wing still has DRS, although it may be less punchy.
  • 18 inch tires with wheel fins. Another returning addition, the bigger tires are aesthetically pleasing while they should also improve the cars handling. Fins were added to help direct air away from the rear wing.

What will the changes do?
New cars don’t just look many different, but they should have a marked effect on the track product, with more exciting and competitive wheel-to-wheel racing.

They are designed with a focus on shifting the aerodynamic focus of the fenders to the underside of the car, making it easier to follow the car ahead and thus improving racing.

F1 estimates are that the 2021 cars have lost 35% of their downforce in the three car lengths from the car in front and nearly 50% in a single car length. You may have heard the words “dirty air”.

The new cars? They claim to reduce these numbers to just 4 and 18% respectively.

“They rely a lot more on air going very quickly under the car, which sucks the car onto the ground and gives what we like to call ground effect,” Sky F1’s Ted Kravitz said.

“You have created a void,” added Anthony Davidson. “There’s a suction to the ground, and you rely less on the wings to give you rear grip, and more on the ground.”

Sky Sports

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