It’s predecessor brought back what can only be called a wretched string of results in 2020 for the Hinwill-based team. The C39 was, for all intents and purposes, a low-key car towing which its drivers seemed like pedestrian workers sandbagging cluelessly on a Formula 1 track. But as the Alfa Romeo C41 Has Arrived, there’s going to be only one key question.
Will the latest Alfa Romeo challenger for the 2021 season turn out to be competitive?
Collecting no more than 8 points from the seventeen rounds in the last season was exactly the dismal sight that one of Formula 1’s oldest teams on the grid would have certainly wanted to avoid.
Alas, that was never meant to be.
The presence of four points each against the name of one of the sport’s growing talents in Antonio Giovinazzi and the oldest and most experienced driver in the contest cut a sorry state of affairs for the Swiss outfit.
With an overall package that lagged behind in the aerodynamic functioning and a Ferrari-powered engine that instead of bolstering hopes for fine performances, blunted the team’s growth, Alfa Romeo’s 2020 car was the stuff nightmares are made of.
The team, however, wouldn’t want to reminisce the lost chances and would, therefore, wish to make steady inroads toward improvements with the arrival of the C41.
And the first thoughts, therefore, would be to reach the position of mid-field authority, the kinds of which were amply evident back in the 2019 season, where Alfa Romeo rounded of the year with 57 decent points.
So on first thoughts, what does the C41 present?
With both Kimi and Antonio, along with the reserve driver Robert Kubica in attendance at the Warsaw, Poland-bound launch, the Alfa Romeo C41 cut a promising figure amid media fanfare.
On first impressions, it’s hard to overlook the frontal part of the new racing machine, with its more shapely, if redesigned nose.
Looking a touch thinner than the C39, the C41’s nose bears a shapely and significantly more rounded structure, with the pylons attaching the front wing to the nose seeming similar to the designs evident from the onset of 2017 season.
The drivers would hope to gather a few tenths up in performance. The team would certainly hope that this development helps increase the efficiency of the car by way of creating underground downforce.
Moving on, one can note an update of to the wing, but only just given the five permitted flaps to the front wing seem to be sitting in a position slightly higher above the main plane moving from the middle to the outboard edges.
Again, up in the front, there’s a tunnel-like opening in the wing just outside of the neutral section, which perceptibly is in in place to provide for an inlet of clean air-flow. This feature could well enhance the front of the underbody but how well can it impact the performance on the track, we’ll have to see.
Easy on the eyes
With the pleasant blend of white and red shades, the C41, one must confess cuts an easy-to-the-eye and elegant figure.
But the first signs to gauge just how well have Alfa Romeo’s design and engineering department have put together the 2021 challenger will be evident not before the Winter Testing arrives, which isn’t all that far away.
On his part, Kimi Raikkonen, who could well be contesting in one final joy-ride in the top annals of the sport this season would wish to extract the most from the Alfa’s new male while teammate Antonio would certainly hope to grow in performance and stature as one of the sport’s promising talents.
As a team, however, the side would want to counter not just the Haas’ and the Williams’, familiar faces in what has until such time been a Class C fight, but take the fight to the likes of Alpha Tauri and possibly tackle the Alpine Formula 1 team (previously Renault).
But can the C41 deliver on all fronts?
Questions there are many, answers, none at this point. Let’s note what the side’s senior figurehead had to say on the latest arrival from the Swiss stable:
“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,” shared Team Principal Frederic Vasseur.