Alpine rolled out its 2024 F1 contender on Wednesday at Enstone, a car that will be raced once again by Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly.
The French outfit’s bustling launch in Enstone also included the unveiling of Alpine’s Hypercar entry for the World Endurance Championship as the event served as a battle cry, echoing the team's determination to reclaim its lost ground in the midfield after slipping from fourth to sixth in the 2023 season.
Alpine’s A524 boasts a new livery, a collaborative effort between Alpine and renowned artist Felipe Pantone that, while it maintains the car’s previous iconic blue, pink, and bare carbon fiber palette, is unlikely to get voted as the most alluring design on the grid by F1 fans.
However, unlike previous seasons, where blue dominated most races, Alpine will now sport the pink livery for a whopping eight Grands Prix, catering to the wishes of their major sponsor, BWT.
But let's not judge this book by its cover. Alpine emphasizes a fundamental shift in car design philosophy, driven by the need to catch up with rivals like Aston Martin and McLaren who made significant strides in 2023.
This "break the stalemate" approach underscores the team's ambition to reignite its competitiveness and challenge for podium finishes once again.
The team says its A524 is a "brand-new concept created for the next two seasons and is marked by innovative solutions as a result of learnings from previous iterations.
"The bold approach will allow the team to apply a stronger development path across the next two campaigns."
Alpine technical director Matt Harman confirmed his department's “aggressive” approach to the concept of its car.
“The A524 approach has been aggressive but deliberate in the fact we are creating a wider scope to add performance to the car,” said Harman.
“We have really focused on learning and reacting to what we have learnt rather than on results.
"The project has been bold where we have focused on realising concepts, which we aim to add to the car.
“We’ve built ourselves a strong platform to add performance when we can and we have set ourselves targets to deliver those."
Ocon and Gasly, the A524’s drivers, are determined to shake up the running order with their new mount.
“It goes without saying that I am super excited for the season and I cannot wait to jump back in the car and go racing again," said Ocon.
"This time of the year is exciting as it is the moment we see what the team has produced. I have seen drawings, been on the simulator but, obviously, not yet seen or sampled the complete, real thing.
“That will wait until shakedown but it’s a nice moment for the team as it’s the culmination of thousands of hours of hard work."
Gasly is set to embark on his second season with Alpine, and the 28-year-old reckons he’s better prepared for his sophomore campaign with the team.
“I would say that I am in a much better place right now than this time 12 months ago," he added.
"I know exactly all the people I’m working with, I know all the processes and how to get the best out of those around me and out of myself.
"It is nice to have continuity and building on the foundations that we created last year. I am confident that I can attack the season straight away and maximise the full potential of the team.”