Alfa Romeo technical director Jan Monchaux confirmed that both of their development tokens went on the new nose cone.
A development that had already been hinted at by Antonio Giovinazzi, the official launch of the C41 unveiled the new slimmer nose cone which Alfa Romeo hope will give them a performance boost for the 2021 season.
That nose is looking very different indeed… pic.twitter.com/2cfL62Uv4w
— Planet F1 (@Planet_F1) February 22, 2021
And they best hope it does, since they have used both of their permitted chassis upgrade tokens for the season in order to create this new nose.
“From the regulations, we couldn’t change the structural components on the car. We decided to spent our two tokens on a new nose so the nose and crashbox is brand new,” Monchaux explained during the C41 launch event in Warsaw.
“That was mainly driven for aero reasons.”
However, The Sauber-backed outfit have been hard at work on other areas of the car during the winter. Mainly revolving around the pursuit of downforce after regulation changes were brought in to curb the rapid increase of downforce levels with the current generation of cars.
“We worked massively on the front suspension, the front wing where the guys made a huge effort on the bargeboards and the deflector on the front of the car,” Monchaux explained.
“The rest of the effort was on the floor and the diffuser and the parts you don’t normally see between the rear tyres.
“Due to the regulation changes, we lost a lot of performance on the floor and diffuser. We put a lot of effort to recover the loss there.
“The chassis and gearbox are the same, most of the rear suspension because of the regulations, but for more return of investment reasons, we’ve carried over components like the radiators and some of the bodywork.
“We will see in a couple of weeks’ time if the choices that we made are correct.”
Monchaux said there will be some updates to come in the early rounds of the season, but like the other teams Alfa Romeo must choose their moment wisely to switch focus to 2022, when the new generation of Formula 1 cars will arrive.
The fact that all this work is now being done under a budget cap, presents a golden opportunity for one of the smaller teams on the grid like Alfa Romeo.
“2022 is going to be a new era, so a great opportunity for a small team like us to close up on the rest of the field,” said Monchaux.
“It’s a crucial year for us and with this in mind, and 2021 with the introduction of a budget cap and only developing with limited resources, it’s a trade-off we have to make between what we spend on this car and how much we spend on next year’s.
“Every team will be stopping earlier the development of 2021 to concentrate on next year’s car. It doesn’t mean we won’t develp the car, we will have evolutions in the first few races, and are still working a bit in the wind tunnel on this car.
“We will see if we are forced to do a bit more than we were hoping on this car, or start a touch earlier on next year’s car.”