Alpine will bring F1 2023 launch season to a close on Thursday evening with a London unveiling of the A523, but their new line-up will no doubt bring plenty of national pride from across the English Channel.
After the drama that surrounded Fernando Alonso’s departure, Oscar Piastri being named an Alpine driver, then legally not becoming an Alpine driver, France’s Formula 1 constructor will be fielding an all-French line-up as Esteban Ocon is joined by long-time racing rival Pierre Gasly.
The script surrounding the pair of them is almost perfect for an episode of that popular Netflix show next year. They grew up not far away from each other, racing against each other all the way through the junior categories, known for not quite being the best of friends in recent years, but they have both put past differences behind them to work towards the greater good of Alpine – and they will be donning the same colours as the covers come off the A523.
Alpine will head into the season feeling buoyant, too, after overhauling McLaren to become ‘best of the rest’ in taking P4 in last season’s Constructors’ Championship.
The next challenge for them now will be to produce a more reliable power unit in the A523, with the team having openly admitted last year they were looking for peak performance in designing their 2022 engine and looking to add reliability later – much to Alonso’s chagrin, after his multiple retirements in his final season with Alpine.
But in terms of colour scheme, Alpine – as they prepare to launch their third Formula 1 car under Renault’s sporting moniker – teased a blue front wing picture on social media on Wednesday, with tinges of the exposed carbon with which we have become accustomed to seeing on the 2023 cars, done in pursuit of weight saving.
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Though with BWT as title sponsors, as they did with Racing Point and with their current partners last season, at least a tinge of pink on the A523 is probably a pretty safe bet for when the covers come off the car as well.
The final launch of February’s schedule will be taking place from 8pm local time in London, and with both drivers having their maiden race victories in Formula 1 under their belts, their reputations enhanced in recent years and a spicy in-team battle to look forward to, the unveiling of the A523 could see the curtain rise on one of the most interesting sub-plots of the 2023 Formula 1 season at Alpine.