Alpine coy on whether they’ll copy Ferrari’s front wing slot gap separator

Michelle Foster
Ferrari front wing slot gap separators. Bahrain February 2023

Ferrari front wing up close with the five slot gap separators. Bahrain February 2023

Alpine technical director Matt Harman says the Enstone team could copy the slot gap separators that featured on Ferrari’s front wing, now that they have been deemed legal.

Last season Mercedes arrived at the United States Grand Prix with the controversial design, their front wing featuring five new stabilisers.

The controversy surrounded the function of the stabilisers that at the time were said to be more of an aerodynamic design than permitted in the spirit of the regulations.

Those regulations, though, have since been altered.

Over the winter the word ‘primarily’ was removed from the rules governing the separators meaning they are now permitted to have an aerodynamic function.

Ferrari were quick to jump on that, the Scuderia’s SF-23 decked out with five separators on the front wing.

Alpine may yet follow suit.

“I think it’s very concept specific,” Harman told the media including PlanetF1.com.

“We’ve had a look a few times at those, you may see them on our car, you may not. We’ll decide.

“But the clarification on the regulation in areas is quite clear, it’s clear that you can do them, and we’ll decide whether we do them or not.

“And maybe I’ll let you know when they’re coming.”

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The Ferrari-esque front wing could be just one of many upgrades that Alpine have in the pipeline this season, the team determined to develop their car as often as possible.

Last season they went with an aggressive upgrade plan, something Harman says they’ll do again this year.

“It may not be every race,” he said, “because as the cars are evolving they’re becoming more integrated, and therefore the package that you need to bring needs to be a little bit more widespread.

“But fundamentally, there will be an attempt to try and develop something at every race, even if it’s not just bodywork and things you can see visually, but things that you maybe can’t see that we can just slap on. So, that’s our intent.

“As we said before, we were quite proud of that last year, and we’ve got the same resources, we’ve got the same finances, if not slightly better. So it’s just down to us to get through that work.”

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher