Alpine announces 2023 launch date in London

© XPB 

The Alpine F1 team has become the fourth squad to confirm the date of its 2023 car launch, with plans to unveil the A523 in London on February 16.

It's the team's third car launch since the former Renault team was rebranded in 2021. Alpine is the French manufacturer's long-standing sports car brand which participates in a large number of motor racing championships.

To date, the renamed team has one Grand Prix victory under its belt thanks to Esteban Ocon's surprise victory in the 2021 Hungarian GP over Lewis Hamilton and Carlos Sainz.

While it wasn't able to reproduce that win last year - or even finish on the podium, in a season dominated by Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes - it did finish the year as 'best of the rest' in the constructors championship.

Alpine pipped rivals McLaren to P4 in the final standings by just 14 points, thanks to the efforts of Ocon and Fernando Alonso. Ocon was fourth in Japan, and the pair scored points in 19 of the season's 22 races.

"It's important, not just financially but also for the momentum," said Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi of the outcome "We said we would try and progress every year to catch up as much as we can with the top teams."

Alonso has now departed for Aston Martin, with former AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly switching to the Enstone-based team making for an all-French line-up. Engines will still be made in Viry, France.

The pair were former childhood friends, but fell out in subsequent years when they headed to Formula 1. Both are adamant that there won't be any problems working together in 2023.

"I’m feeling ready to begin this next chapter in my career," Gasly said in December after his first test outing with the team in Abu Dhabi.

"I’m looking forward to visiting everyone at Viry and Enstone, debriefing on this test, before working towards our objectives alongside Esteban for 2023."

A reserve driver is yet to be announced by team principal Otmar Szafnauer, after Oscar Piastri dramatically departed the team over the summer to take up a full-time seat at McLaren in 2023. Formula 2 driver Jack Doohan is believed to be favourite for the job.

Pat Fry will continue in the role of chief technical officer and Matt Harman remains technical director. The leading figures of the team are expected to participate in the launch event.

Wednesday's announcement means that Alpine is provisionally in fourth place when it comes to this year's car launches. AlphaTauri is currently first up on the preceding Saturday, followed by Aston Martin and Ferrari.

Red Bull, Mercedes, McLaren, Alfa Romeo, Haas and Williams are yet to announce their own plans for launching this year's contenders.

Alpine's timing puts their launch event eight days before the start of three days of pre-season testing at the Bahrain International Circuit from February 23 to 25.

The new season gets underway the following weekend, also at Bahrain, with the first race of the season taking place on March 5.

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