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Alpine's 'body-shamed' airbox an aerodynamic compromise

Alpine's 'body-shamed' airbox an aerodynamic compromise

F1 News

Alpine's 'body-shamed' airbox an aerodynamic compromise

Alpine's 'body-shamed' airbox an aerodynamic compromise

Alpine executive director Marcin Budkowski has conceded he is "surprised by the amount of bodywork shaming" the team has received over the distinctive airbox on the A521.

The French manufacturer has streamlined the side profiling of the car and, in doing so, moved compounds towards the top of the airbox, creating a vintage-style wide bulk above the driver.

Budkowski revealed the decision to create this shape was a compromise for aerodynamic capability.

"I'm a bit surprised by the amount of bodywork shaming on our car. It's a technical choice," Budkowski said.

"We found that slimming the sidepods was a positive direction, which is nothing new really, so we repackaged and relocated some of the bulky things in the car if you want, and we've put them behind the air inlet.

"So yes, it gives a fairly spectacularly bulky shape on the car but it works for us.

"Yes, there are centre of gravity compromises, but usually the aero performance wins over weight and centre of gravity."

Despite this season being perceived as a stagnant campaign in relation to changes to cars between seasons, there has been an overhaul of aerodynamic components to comply with the enforced cuts to downforce.

Budkowski suggested that teams would look at each other's cars in order to gain inspiration for different solutions to claw back the downforce deficit.

"I think there are interesting things on any car," he added. "The thing that has changed the most is the rear part of the floor, which is where the regulation changes were.

"So pretty much like everybody else we're looking at pictures of other cars, as are the engineers back at the factory, going through pictures and seeing if there are good ideas on other cars.

"The rear end of the cars, and the areas that are the usual suspects, complex areas, front wings, bargeboards, are the ones we are looking at."

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