First laps of a 2023 F1 car are complete as Alfa Romeo test C43 at Barcelona

Sam Cooper
The Alfa Romeo C43.

The Alfa Romeo C43.

Alfa Romeo have become the first team to give their 2023 car a rundown by taking the C43 to the track in Barcelona, in what they described as a “pivotal moment” in their development.

The Swiss outfit broke the tradition of car unveilings this week when instead of revealing a dummy car, they showed off their actual contender for the 2023 season.

While Alfa still have time to make changes before the start of the season in Bahrain, they decided not to do like many other teams and produce a car that would have little resemblance to the one they use in the first race.

The C43, which featured a striking new black and red design, took to the track for the first time on Friday as Valtteri Bottas, Zhou Guanyu and Théo Pourchaire put in some laps at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

The Spanish track has traditionally been the testing ground of choice for the F1 teams given its European location but in 2023, official pre-season testing will take place in Bahrain.

It was Bottas who was given the honour of being the first one to drive with Alfa tweeting a video of the Finn emerging from the garage in the sunny Spanish conditions.

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The C43 shares a lot of design features from other teams’ 2022 cars but one key resemblance was to Red Bull’s RB18. Given the team’s dominance last year, it is unsurprising to see other teams draw inspiration from the Milton Keynes outfit but Alfa said it was the cooling elements of the RB18 that they paid close attention to.

Technical director Jan Monchaux said after the first of their two filming days in Barcelona, with the second coming on Saturday: “The debut of our C43 is a pivotal moment in our season: it marks the start of our on-track campaign and really drives home how close the season is.

“Today was important to ensure everything is in place, not just with the car but also with the wider team, ahead of what is going to be a crucial start of the championship.

“We have to thank everyone who worked on the car, and of course also our partners Ferrari, for getting us here. We are ready for testing and we can’t wait to get to work in Bahrain.”

Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Alfa Romeo team representative added: “It’s a great moment to witness the first on-track outing of the C43, on an important TV day in which we created plenty of material for our partners and their activations.

“This is the final moment of a long process during which our car was thought, designed, created and assembled, and we take pride in the journey we have completed: it was made possible by the commitment, dedication and passion of everyone working in our HQ in Hinwil, and of our technical partners, first and foremost Ferrari.

“We know the challenges that lie ahead, but we are confident that, with this same attitude, this same hard work, we will be successful and make another step forward.”