Alpine on A523 upgrade: “It’s just pure performance. It’s just total load we’re putting on the car”

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Photo credits: BWT Alpine F1 Team

BWT Alpine F1 Team brought a variety of development upgrades to this year’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix but a combination of a fire to Pierre Gasly’s car in FP1 (the only free practice session of what was a sprint weekend) coupled with reduced running did not allow the team to fully see the A523’s current potential. Having seen Miami bring home double points to the team, maybe at last the season can truly begin for the French manufacturer. Alpine technical director Matt Harman previously gave an update into the performance expected from the recent upgrades.


Alpine secured double points in Miami which was no doubt a relief to their fans as their season is one that had so far been plagued with DNFs and being off the pace compared to their rivals across the season so far. The French manufacturer currently sit P6 in the F1 Constructors’ Championship on 14 points. This is the same tally as P5 placed McLaren – while Scuderia Ferrari are 64 points ahead in P4 after just 5 race weekends. In a media session back at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Alpine technical director Matt Harman spoke with journalists about the recent upgrades for the A523.


Alpine’s most recent upgrades included a new floor as well as new front and rear suspension. The hope is that this will see the French manufacturer make up ground on Scuderia Ferrari, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team and Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team.

Matt Harman explained to journalists how the design of the floor indicates a substantial step forward in Alpine’s understanding of the A523’s aerodynamics. 


“It’s a little bit of a departure in some areas,” Harman said. “It’s pretty much across the whole floor, really. There’s some redistribution of geometry you won’t be able to see — unless the car’s upside down — which is quite important also. It’s quite a different pressure distribution for the floor. It’s pretty extensive. It’s not a single part in a modular floor, it’s the whole floor.

“It’s just pure performance. It’s just total load we’re putting on the car.”

These updates represent ‘the aggressive development of the car’ previously promised by Harman. Alpine are conscious that they perform on circuits with different characteristics and as such are learning something new about the A523 with every race weekend.


“We have developed a large-scale refinement plan as the season progresses. Last year we learned a lot and now we know how to achieve maximum efficiency,” stated Harman.


It took a while for Alpine to reach this stage but the 2023 F1 season is a long one. With Alpine securing P8 and P9 on track when the chequered flag fell in Miami, confidence is surely high. Next up is a triple-header (starting in Imola) and this could see a lot of ground made up by Alpine on their rivals in a short time.

Obviously, the French manufacturer has a huge task on its hands if it wishes to replicate 2022’s finishing F1 Constructors’ Championship position of P4 but if it continues aggressive developments off track while its talented drivers show controlled aggression on track – who knows what could be achieved by the end of the season.