Here it is, the Alfa Romeo C41, the third 2021 F1 car to be revealed after the McLaren MCL35M and the AlphaTauri AT02. And boy, what a reveal it was…
The launch was held in Warsaw, Poland, home to the team’s main sponsor Orlen. If the McLaren and AlphaTauri reveals left you feeling a little deflated, the former done without the car itself and the latter via a press release and a handful of images, then Alfa Romeo’s would have almost certainly put a smile on your face. Drivers Kimi Räikkönen and Antonio Giovinazzi were on hand with test and development driver Robert Kubica, as well as team boss Frédéric Vasseur, but with smoke, lights, some pianos and dancers also in the frame, there was one almighty, and sometimes awkwardly amusing, show.
The C41 is built in Zürich, Switzerland, by what was known as the Sauber team until it partnered with Alfa Romeo at the end of 2017. Like every other 2021 F1 car, the C41 is a development of last year’s machine, in this case the C39, owing to the fact the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has pushed the biggest revision in technical regulations for the past decade back until 2022. Minor rule changes, however, have forced a number aerodynamic changes aimed at slowing the cars down, including a narrower rear floor and a simpler diffuser and rear brake ducts. In Alfa Romeo’s case, one of the biggest differences between the new and old car is the shape of the nose, with a narrower, flatter and more rounded look.
Team principal Vasseur said: “The launch of a new car is always an emotional moment, the culmination of months of effort from everyone back at the factory and the start of a new adventure. I think the philosophy upon which the team is based remains the same – we have to do a better job tomorrow than we are doing today. We finished last season in P8, so we have to target a better result in 2021. To do so, we have to keep improving in each department, trackside and back at HQ. Every team on the grid has very high expectations right now: all the teams expect to do a good job in the winter and to be in a good position for the first race, but soon it will be the time for everyone to show their cards.”