‘Only the steering wheel survived’ - Alpine’s bold and aggressive A524 F1 car design explained

Alpine have explained their thinking behind the design of their 2024 F1 car.
Alpine's new A524 F1 car
Alpine's new A524 F1 car

Alpine’s brand new A524 F1 challenger underwent such a revamp over the winter that “only the steering wheel survived”.

After a disappointing 2023 campaign in which Alpine finished a distant sixth in the constructors’ championship, the French outfit elected to carry out a major design overhaul to their 2024 car.

The A524 was unveiled at Enstone on Wednesday, with Alpine technical director Matt Harman describing the radical changes as part of a “very bold approach”.

“It’s a brand new car from front to back, I think only the steering wheel survived. So we’ve really tried to look at every single area of the car,” he said.

“We rigorously analysed the key aerodynamic concepts that we wanted to move towards on this car to explore more aerodynamic freedom and better unlock these concepts to their full potential.

“We found with the A523 that it was operating within a very narrow window. This was a weakness as it meant we were limited on what we could exploit with the car and there were very specific characteristics on where it thrived and where it did not.

“Therefore, for the A524, we aim to broaden this window as much as we can to give ourselves a better opportunity of maximising its potential.”

Alpine have made huge changes to their 2024 F1 car
Alpine have made huge changes to their 2024 F1 car

A completely redesigned chassis is among the most notable changes, while Alpine put a lot of focus on taking an “aggressive approach” to development of the floor.

“We have completely redesigned the chassis, we have a new rear suspension system, optimised the front suspension and integrated a new heat rejection system to give us capacity to operate more efficiently at each event,” Harman explained.

“In addition, we have completed a lot of work on our brake system, in particular on the thermal management of the brakes as there is performance to extract from transmitting heat through the system.

“Of course, the floor is a big performance differentiator on these cars and we have opted an aggressive approach on development in that area to cover a lot of different concepts and really express ourselves.

"We have also changed the front wing and nose to manage airflow at the front of the car.

“By applying these changes, we are giving ourselves much wider scope to add performance across the next two seasons even if there has been some compromise on reaching certain targets, which we have pushed to the limit. We must keep pushing this dynamic development across all areas of the team.”

Harman said Alpine have “pushed some elements to the limit and beyond” in a bid to extract the maximum potential from the A524.

“The A524 approach has been aggressive but deliberate in the fact we are creating a wider scope to add performance to the car,” he added.

“We have really focused on learning and reacting to what we have learnt rather than  on results. The project has been bold where we have focused on realising concepts, which we aim to add to the car.

“We’ve built ourselves a strong platform to add performance when we can and we have set ourselves targets to deliver those. We have pushed some elements to the limit and, in some cases, beyond that.

“That is all in line with our approach and exactly what we have set out to achieve in progressing this project to the best possible level.”

The A524 from above
The A524 from above

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