Alfa Romeo have unveiled their new C41 car for the 2021 Formula One season, as Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi remain with the team for a third consecutive year.
Retaining the red and white livery albeit with the white colour scheme now running across the rear with splashes of red in reverse of 2020 design, the C41 carried over many aspects of the C39 car that the team raced in last season, although Alfa Romeo used their development tokens to focus on the front nosecone.
Speaking cautiously on his expectations for the new season at a special launch ceremony in Warsaw, Poland, Raikkonen said: “Obviously first of all, it is nice to see the new car but we are very in an area of the unknown with some rule changes and how is that going to impact everybody and where we are going to be.”
The 2007 champion however is hoping for improvement on last season’s eighth-placed constructor finish, saying: “Hopefully we are better off than where we were last year and we will get some idea in testing in a couple of weeks time then in one month’s time after the first race we will really know where we are.”
Giovinazzi meanwhile was quizzed on the C41’s beauty with the Italian speaking casually of how ‘really excited’ he is as he brushed off the fact that it is just a new car.
Alfa Romeo Team Principal, Frederic Vasseur spoke his excitement at potential improvement in 2021, as he said: “For sure, the expectation is always very high but it’s an exciting joint effort from the team and for all teams when have the launch of a new car.”
Vasseur however is keeping tight lipped on the team’s targets for this season despite the ‘most important’ aim being to constantly improve, although he heeded caution in saying: “To put a goal is sometimes a limitation and I think we want to improve and that all the team is motivated…”
On the possibility of pushing for the top end of midfield containing the likes of Aston Martin, McLaren and Alpine, Vasseur admitted that this project will be ‘a long path’ but that the team ‘are improving step-by-step.’
Alfa Romeo Technical Director, Jan Monchaux meanwhile is confident that the team will head into pre-season testing with a strong understanding of the car, due to carrying over various parts from last season despite having to design a new floor and the decision to develop their front nosecone further.
Monchaux though feels that the three-day test will be key to ensuring that the car meets data based expectations, saying: “… it’s still going to be crucial to make the most of those three days to verify that reality matches our expectations and to get to know the new tyres.”
Alfa Romeo will now take the car to Barcelona for a shakedown on Friday ahead of the new season.