Alfa Romeo is confident its unique front-wing concept will reap dividends in its push for a midfield berth in the upcoming season.
The team has spent development tokens on redeveloping the front end of the car, particularly a reprofiling of the nose with a focus on aerodynamic gains.
The team has primarily focused on a wider profile for the linking pillars between the nose and the front-wing.
Explaining the reasoning why Alfa Romeo has taken such a design route, technical director Jan Monchaux said: “It’s part of the overall front-end concept, changing the nose.
"It's about how we manage the Y250 vortex being generated by the front wing and how that later reacts with all the deflectors, the turning veins and bargeboards we have behind.
“So I would say the changes we have done on the front wing which allowed us to extend or take more advantage of the cape, which is this kind of horizontal plate emerging from the nose, has helped us to have better control of the front wheel wake and push it a bit more out which is usually what all the aerodynamicists try to do in F1.
“I can’t really quote a number because when it was done and engineered in the tunnel, it was positive but we are not usually doing a check six months later to try to see with a new bargeboard, with a new front wing, how much better the new nose was.
“It was exhibiting some very interesting features in terms of flow quality and at that point we elected to leave it on."
With the front-wing vanes directing airflow inward towards the initial strakes of the bargeboards and floor, the correlation between factory data and the physical performance of the nose structure will be critical for the team's chances.
Monchaux is unfazed by the fact other teams have switched from Alfa Romeo's current concept to a narrower structure at the front, with the team comfortable with the data it has seen at the factory.
“With respect to the others, we certainly look at what the others are doing," he added.
"There is no F1 team not doing this but we follow our own criteria and having a front-wing concept which is now in its third year or so, which is also quite different to many other teams, some of the solutions we are looking for and finding may look different from the others.
“It doesn’t mean they are wrong, it doesn’t mean we are right, I have no crystal ball, but for us at that time when we elected to go for this new nose it made sense.”
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