With BWT as the team's new title sponsor, Alpine today launched their 2022 Formula One campaign by unveiling the A522 at Paris. The team immediately revealed not one, but two different liveries that will be used.
Driven by Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon, the car obviously features a lot of pink, the main colour of BWT. As that pink livery was no longer possible with their previous partnership at Aston Martin, formerly Racing Point, BWT jumped ship to brighten up the French blue Alpines.
Contrary to Racing Point that had their cars almost entirely in pink, Alpine didn't go that far, but instead will do an all-pink livery at the first two races of the season, after which blue will return.
The presentation of BWT Alpine F1 Team’s second ever Formula 1 car was led by Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi, CEO Renault Group, Luca de Meo, as well as newly appointed Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer. Drivers Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso were also on hand to reveal the much anticipated A522 to the world. This new-look team will target further progression in 2022.
The technical teams at Enstone will continue to be led by the recently promoted and experienced duo of Pat Fry, Chief Technical Officer, and Matt Harman, the new team’s Technical Director. Across the channel in Viry-Châtillon, the team has recently appointed Bruno Famin as Executive Director of Alpine Racing, tasked with maximising engine performance and integration into the chassis.
Alpine has high hopes for its new contender but stated before that its new split-turbo engine, named E22, was designed with performance as the priority, admitting there might be some reliability gremlins early on. This was a conscious decision, given that only reliability updates will be allowed from 2022 until the 2025 season.
“Either reliability or performance, you can’t very well have both,” said Rossi, quoted by Motorsport-Total.com. “So where do we push the development?
“During the [development] year, we had some moments when reliability was lacking. That’s a choice we made because our only leverage [last season] was reliability.”
Rossi explained Renault had gone with a “reliability first” direction in the past and believes the power unit is already capable of performing through a record-breaking 23-race calendar.
“That’s why I told the team ‘explore the limits as much as possible, I [don’t care about reliability]’,” Rossi explained.
“I’d rather have a power unit where I can be sure maximum performance has been teased out than sit there comfortably with a reliable power unit that doesn’t perform.
“Now we are going in exactly the opposite direction. The good news is we’ve done thousands of kilometres with the new engine [on the dyno] over the past few weeks.
“The engine has been completely redesigned; the whole concept is brand new.
“First and foremost, it features the twin-split turbo. But that’s just one element that makes the whole unit more compact.
“The engine is lighter and operates in a wider window in terms of temperature and [air] pressure. It’s a real ‘game changer’ for us. I hope it will allow us to catch up and reduce the gap to the top.”