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today is May 31, 2023

Alfa Romeo are concerned a change to the floor rules for the 2023 Formula 1 season will favour the sport’s leading teams.

The change to the dimensions of the cars’ floors was announced in August last year. Alfa Romeo technical director Jan Monchaux said it gave the team an extra headache when designing the new car it presented today.

“We like change, it’s always a new opportunity when rules are changing,” said Monchaux. “We were slightly irritated by the timing because it was decided very late, and usually late changes are favouring bigger outfits.”

The FIA imposed the changes in response to the porpoising some teams experienced last season, due to concerns over the effect it could have on drivers’ health.

Alfa Romeo C43 launch, 2023 Gallery: Alfa Romeo C43 launch “The changes are mainly on the floor side, the FIA decided to lift the edges by 15 millimetres,” Monchaux explained. “It doesn’t sound a lot, 15mm, but that was enough to keep us scratching our head and having to redo all the floor and rear end of the car alongside those new rules. And so far, I’m pretty happy about the progress we did.”

Monchaux said the impact of the rules will vary from team to team but he expects all will be able to regain the lost lap time.

“The rule change, I think the order of magnitude, let’s call it half a second lap time loss, which I will assume is more or less plus or minus a tenth everywhere. And I have no doubt that most of the teams will have recovered those losses. Then it’s a matter of how much more have you been able to put on to the car for the start of the season.”

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However he says it will be “more important” for Alfa Romeo to continue unlocking more performance from their car during the season. He pointed out the team only narrowly held on to sixth place in the championship last year under pressure from Aston Martin, who would have beaten them had Sebastian Vettel finished one place higher in the final race.

“We started very strong last year and at some point struggled a bit more to also bring performance to the car. It’s going to be a 23-race season and if there’s one thing we also learned last year it’s that the season is not over until the last lap in Abu Dhabi because it’s the last lap where we finished P6, with half a second ahead of Vettel.

“We had our highs, we had downs, but we need to also as a team – and this I think was very clear from all the reviews we’ve been doing that we, we can’t give up. Race one will be what it is. Maybe it will be very good, maybe we’ll be a bit disappointed.

“Okay, turn the page, there’s still 22 races and I have no doubt that these guys, but also the team at home, 500 people or so, will be will be pushing very hard to then recover what needs to be recovered if it is or build an advantage, if we would be in the higher parts of the midfield.”

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