Alpine’s Matt Harman: 2023 cars ‘starting to converge’

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Thursday’s launch of the A523, spelled the start of what Alpine hope will be a season that they can begin to close in on the top three teams in Formula One.

Technical Director, Matt Harman, who was promoted to lead the team last February, appeared optimistic at the team’s grand reveal in London.

He admitted to Pit Debrief and other media outlets that the team began to focus on the 2023 car more when they realised there was little benefit on losing more weight as the season went on.

“I mean it was quite a strategy there. We actually stopped trying to take weight out of last year’s car to focus on this year’s car because there does become a point in the season, where it’s not cost effective to do so.

“We put a lot of engineering effort into that. We’ve taken a large number of kilograms off the car, which now gives us a nice ballast number that we can use for weight distribution.”

Being the last team to launch their car has given the team plenty of opportunity to assess the competition. Harman assessed that they weren’t surprised by some of what they have seen.

“We’ve seen a few interesting things and also seen a lot of things that that we kind of expected to see. We’ll do what every team does and have a good pour through all of that.

“We’ll take that as inspiration into our development but also our own plan. I think there’s some interesting things, but the cars are starting to converge a little bit.”

Talking about porpoising – the phenomenon that held many teams back across the 2022 season, Harman was also happy to reveal that it isn’t seen as much of a problem for the team heading forwards.

“We have some simulations around that and we think after the filming day we’re in a good position. But, let’s keep our powder dry and have a look at what we do in Bahrain.

“We’re reasonably comfortable at the moment about where we are in terms of in terms of porpoising or bouncing around.”

While the team looks to push forwards with an ‘aggressive development budget’, they did announce that just the front of chassis – not the entire chassis, will be new for this season.

This marks part of a move that includes changes to ‘closer to 95% than 50% of the car’ according to Harman.

Image: Alpine F1 Team