2019 tech verdict: Alfa’s battle to find consistency

The rebranded Sauber team started the season well, with Kimi Raikkonen (who switched places with Ferrari-bound Charles Leclerc) scoring in the first four races, then another four out of five before the summer break – as penalties in the German Grand Prix, for clutch setting offences, cost a double points payday.

After the break, the team really struggled for pace – with only the chaotic Brazilian GP truly falling its way with a pair of top-five finishes.

 

Alfa Romeo Racing C38 front wing detail

Alfa Romeo Racing C38 front wing detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The C38 garnered plenty of attention when it was launched, as the team had taken a seemingly aggressive approach to the new front wing regulations for 2019, opting for the ‘unloaded’ solution.

Alfa Romeo Racing C38 fins

Alfa Romeo Racing C38 fins

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Alfa continued its aggressive aero stance when it introduced these fins on the transition of the nose, opting for four feather-like fins instead of the singular L-shaped fins used elsewhere on the grid.

Alfa Romeo Racing C38 rear wing detail

Alfa Romeo Racing C38 rear wing detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Alfa’s rear wing utilised these pinched sections on the upper leading edge of the endplate as the aerodynamicists looked to limit the damage caused by the introduction of new regulations that had ruled out the louvres that had become commonplace in the last decade.

Alfa Romeo Racing C38, front wing and nose

Alfa Romeo Racing C38, front wing and nose

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

For the British GP, Alfa Romeo showed up with a new nose solution featuring a ‘cape’, much like the majority of the field. Changes were also made to the front wing, with a revised footplate design the most prominent feature.

Alfa Romeo C38 endplate design, German Grand Prix

Alfa Romeo C38 endplate design, German Grand Prix

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The team made further changes to the front wing footplate for the German GP, as the dividing strake altered to suit the track characteristics at hand.

Alfa Romeo C38, front wing

Alfa Romeo C38, front wing

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The cape solution was refined further still later in the season, as the team looked to improve its aerodynamic output.

Alfa Romeo C38, front wing, Brazilian GP

Alfa Romeo C38, front wing, Brazilian GP

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Having fielded an unconventional upper flap on the front wing throughout the course of the season, which featured only short slots in the outermost and innermost sections, Alfa revised the design in Brazil, opting for a full-length slot.

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