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A closer look at the Alfa Romeo C43



A closer look at the Alfa Romeo C43

Alfa Romeo, the first Formula 1 team to unveil its 2023 car, is expected to see many changes before it debuts on the track. However, the basic structure of the vehicle is in place.

As part of Sauber, which is gradually becoming an Audi F1 team after Audi acquired 25% ownership, this year is crucial for the team to prove its worth and justify the significant investment.

Audi’s initial investment will allow Sauber to work within the cost-cap limits and, with Audi not fully taking over until 2026 when the new power unit rules are implemented, it will provide three years for investment in upgrading the team’s facilities. Regarding its 2023 car, the C43, let’s take a closer look, starting with Suspension.

Suspension Alfa Romeo C43

Alfa Romeo has kept its pushrod front suspension, but the anti-lift and dive properties of the wishbone inner-leg location have been diminished.

This decision is unexpected, as Alfa Romeo was one of only two teams, alongside Red Bull, that utilized this method. Regulating the height changes with differing longitudinal forces is typically seen as a positive.

The steering trackrod is circular and just beneath the top wishbone’s front leg. It is not exactly aligned, but is relatively close to it. Being circular, it will have minimal impact on the airflow from the front wing flap’s trailing edge.

Alfa Romeo is utilizing the top wishbone legs to optimize the flow towards the sidepod’s leading edge.


F1 Sidepod leading edge

Sauber has chosen a radiator inlet similar to Ferrari’s design, which directs the surplus airflow at high speed from the outer corner and along the sidepod into the coke bottle region. This prevents the excess flow from impacting the underfloor, leading to more stability at high speeds (a problem the team identified from the previous season that needs improvement). The undercut is not as pronounced as last year’s Ferrari model, but is more fluid, similar to last year’s Red Bull design.

Underfloor C43

The front edge of the floor appears to be relatively elevated. This is not preferred as it is believed to decrease the possibility of underfloor downforce, but it will increase the reliability of that downforce. In other words, losing a bit in one area leads to gaining a bit in another.

It is challenging to observe any of the turning vanes, but the outer one is about as large as regulations permit. This will distinguish the chaotic airflow from the front tire from the front edge of the sidepod.

Side impact structures

This section is relatively standard. There is no evidence of a Mercedes-like separate SIP fairing from the previous year. There appears to be no indication of the SIP structure’s ends, meaning the body surface easily covers what is beneath it. Simple lines are preferred, but pushing the limits a bit further in this area may have produced significant benefits.


The design is relatively straightforward, with the upper and side surfaces angled downward and inward. There is no drastic change in shape, but there seems to be a slight disconnect just behind the halo and before the red paint on the engine cover begins.

It seems like this was a shift in approach when it was determined that utilizing a higher rear radiator exit in a letterbox style was more effective. This may have needed to be adapted to the chassis lines, which Sauber likely had already committed to.

Roll Structure

This section appears cluttered. If compared to Red Bull from last year, the design around these inlets is quite busy and Sauber has maintained a central spike-shaped rollover bar concept. To be stronger and taller than the previous year, the rollover bar had to be raised, which has enabled the utilization of two more inlets located towards the rear, distinct from the engine intake which will be the lower one. The flow and any overflow in this region can hinder the performance of the rear wing at high speed, so controlling the flow and ensuring it is attached to the engine cover surface will improve the consistency of the rear wing.



A closer look at the Alfa Romeo C43

This is the initial observation of a team’s adaptation to the elevated outer edges of the floor. It is intriguing to see the line of slats depicted in that region in the illustrations and I suspect that the actual design on the track will differ.

The approach of the team towards this front area of the floor and sealing the sides will be crucial to the car’s performance, thus, it is necessary to wait until the Bahrain test to make a judgment. The team is likely to keep its actual strategy confidential.


A closer look at the Alfa Romeo C43

The design features more openness in comparison to the previous year, owing to the fluidic sidepods. The flow of air in this area is a crucial aspect as it helps to minimize the base pressure on the floor’s outer edges and enhance the diffuser’s performance. The arrangement of the rear suspension should align with the airflow to achieve this.

C43 Suspension

A closer look at the Alfa Romeo C43

The visual representations demonstrate a pushrod design for the rear suspension, but images from YouTube suggest that the team has chosen a pullrod setup. The latter provides a larger outlet for the radiator exit, which is a desirable feature for the letterbox design. The choice between pushrod and pullrod depends on the overall concept and it seems the letterbox cooling exit was added at a later stage of the design process, resulting in modifications to the airflow lines on the engine cover and the front of the engine.

Front Wing


Sauber has maintained its flow-conditioning approach, which features a slot gap between the first and second elements for full-width airflow.

This enhances the flow consistency to the nose’s underside and, as it feeds the underfloor’s central area, it will also improve the underfloor’s consistency. The flap distribution is uniform, which further improves flow consistency and reduces crossflow impact on the airflow downstream.

Alfa Romeo C43 diffuser


The design, as portrayed in the renders, takes advantage of the maximum allowed space by the regulations. It is likely that the final version will differ from what is seen in these images.


The large curved transition between the top surface and sidewalls of the diffuser is commendable, as it promotes stability in the aerodynamics. In contrast to last year’s design, this feature should provide consistent performance.

The diffuser features a beam wing on its trailing edge, which appears to be a simple, add-on component that can be altered to suit the specific requirements of different racetracks.


A closer look at the Alfa Romeo C43

The method utilized by Aston Martin last year, which involved the endplate detail, has been disallowed this year. It’s a detachable part, so it will be adjusted to suit the needs of different circuits.

As a whole, it is uncertain what can be expected during the pre-season tests. However, changes are likely to occur.

Based on the information obtained from the recent releases and the renderings, the design seems plain and unassuming. Some potential for improved performance may be missed by not taking risks and exploring beyond the limits.

While the car presents a neat appearance, it does not stand out in any significant manner.

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