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Can Alpine make F1 design ideas count to move up the grid?

However, it has failed to leverage the kind of performance that results in consistent performances, which is something it hopes to resolve with the arrival of the A524.

Taking those ideas and joining up the rest of the dots will undoubtedly be a tall task, but early signs all point to them achieving those goals, as the A524 consolidates those solutions with new ideas, both from its own development programme and those discovered by others.

The obvious place to start with this generation of cars is the sidepods, as visually they hold clues to how the rest of the car has been shaped around them. In this respect, Alpine joined Red Bull and AlphaTauri at the beginning of this regulation cycle by having the now almost universal downwash ramp-style solution.

But Alpine was the first team to make a significant development beyond the simple ramp geometry that other teams have since adopted their own variants of. That switch to the gully-style sidepods gave Alpine a headstart on the rest and it is something that it has continued to optimise its package around since, with the A524 being no different.

Alpine A524 detail

Alpine A524 detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

At the front end of the sidepods it’s clear that there’s some inspiration drawn from Red Bull and the other teams that have since adopted a wide-but-shallow inlet, which also sees the lower leading edge drawn forward of the upper leading edge. This not only improves the quality of air reaching the internal components, it also results in much more design freedom for the lower section of the sidepod.

In this respect Alpine has ventured off in its own direction, pulling the inlet down towards the floor where it meets with the chassis to create an L-shaped design that not only affords more cooling, it also provides an alternative design feature for the sidepod’s undercut.

The upper surface of the sidepods and the gully-style system implemented has once again been refined to improve flow management to the rear of the car, whilst also being tailored to changes made to the engine cover and its shelf-like bodywork, along with revisions made to the cooling gill layout that straddles it.

Alpine A524 detail

Alpine A524 detail

Photo by: Jon Noble

Allied to the geometric alterations made to the sidepod bodywork, Alpine has completely reworked the floor’s edge and edge wing and incorporated similar design features to the ones seen on the RB19 last season.

This results in the floor being raised and rolled ahead of the edge wing in order to work in tandem as a multi-element winglet, while the rear half of the edge wing is tapered and rolled in the opposite direction to complement the contours of the floor.

Many of the details surrounding the underfloor will remain a mystery, for now, as they’re out of view but it’s clear that the team have worked hard to manage the various volumes allowable within the regulations in order to maximise performance.

Paramount to this will be improvements made to the design and shape of the chassis, with technical director Matt Harman noting at the car’s launch that it has gone to excess here to make gains for 2024.

Alpine A524

Alpine A524

Photo by: Alpine

At the front of the car, Alpine has retained the longer nose design that it utilised last season, whereby the nose tip is integrated into the mainplane but this time around the main body of the nose is much wider than before, creating a more bulbous shape where it intersects with the front wing elements before tapering again at the chassis.

Interesting design elements, such as the vortex generators atop the wing mirror housing and the bib winglet have also been retained, albeit likely optimised further to sit correctly within their new surroundings.

The roll hoop and airbox design has also been recast, as the team have incorporated a wider and shallower approach while dealing with the challenges posed by the revised regulations and tests associated with this region.

Alpine A523 rear wing detail

Alpine A523 rear wing detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

At the rear of the car, Alpine has two solutions on its rear wing that have been appropriated by others, the first being a swage line on the endplate’s lower outer surface, that upwashes the airflow and helps connect the various flow structures within its vicinity.

The team has also found a workaround within the regulations to better control the tip vortex shed at the wingtip.

Utilising a semi-detached tip section arrangement, the shape of this region can be optimised in conjunction with the rear endplate cutout to better manage the collision of the various pressure gradients, resulting in less drag and more downforce when compared with the conventional design.

McLaren, AlphaTauri, Red Bull and Aston Martin have all installed their own versions during 2022 having seen promise in the solution when it was installed on the Alpine A523 at the Monaco Grand Prix.

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This article was originally published by a www.motorsport.com . Read the Original article here. .

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