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AlphaTauri reveals heavily revised F1 car for British GP

AlphaTauri has revealed a radically updated car with a new floor, suspension and rear wing for the 2023 British Grand Prix as it works to revive its Formula 1 fortunes.

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT04

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

The Red Bull sister squad currently props up the constructors' standings on two points, versus the haul of five for next-placed outfit Williams. This follows a ninth-place finish in 2022.

This poor adjustment to the ground-effect rules change led new Red Bull management to consider a total sale of the Faenza-based team. However, it has finally resolved to rebrand AlphaTauri, concentrate its operation in Bicester and share more technology with defending champion Red Bull.

Ahead of that shake-up for 2024, AlphaTauri will sport a heavily upgraded AT04 car for this weekend's Silverstone round. It has submitted to the FIA no fewer than eight key changes.

Three concern an overhaul of the floor design. A raised leading edge will work to lower local pressure to improve the effectiveness of the ground-effects seal to increase downforce.

AlphaTauri adds: "Compared to previous floor edges, the new geometry modifies the rearward part of the floor edge wing and extends it inboard at its rearward extremity with a cut-out in the floor edge to suit."

AlphaTauri AT04 technical detail

AlphaTauri AT04 technical detail

Photo by: Matt Kew

This will combine with revised fences and tweaked geometry to generate stronger vorticity from fence-shedding edges to further increase load.

Meanwhile, the vertical sidewalls on the diffuser have been modified to increase outwash and reduce how much the wake from the rear tyres interrupts the airflow.

The maximum width of the engine cover bodywork has been increased. This, according to the team "generates higher static pressure, which reduces the extent to which front wheel wake losses impinge onto the bodywork with yaw and steer. This generates more load from the floor edge due to improved onset flow quality."

An extra winglet has been added behind the rearmost top wishbone of the rear suspension to marginally increase the load generated by the brake duct assembly.

The medium downforce-specification rear wing has also undergone a redesign to become more elliptical so that the airflow load is concentrated down the middle of the component to take the emphasis away from the outboard sections.

AlphaTauri AT04 technical detail

AlphaTauri AT04 technical detail

Photo by: Matt Kew

Although AlphaTauri does not expect overall downforce to increase from this revision, it hopes for reduced drag to improve straight-line efficiency and top speed.

The flap from the beam wing has been removed altogether to further help with this reduction in drag.

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These AlphaTauri changes are the most sweeping of its season so far. They also follow the departure of head of aerodynamics Dickon Balmforth.

His exit came amid outgoing team principal Franz Tost saying the "person I didn't trust anymore is out" after the Austrian blasted his engineers earlier in the year.

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