Alfa Romeo plans to make updates for its Formula 1 C41 car in the early races of the 2021 season before deciding when to focus on 2022.
Alfa Romeo unveiled the new C41 car in Poland on Monday and will give the updated model its first track day on Friday during its shakedown in Barcelona.
With an overhaul of the technical regulations by 2022, teams are allowed to work on the development of next year’s car since January 1.
Most have spent the winter trying to assess when to stop 2021 car development altogether to focus on 2022, while teams such as Haas have hinted they will make the switch and stop development for 2021 as soon as possible. as possible.
Speaking at the unveiling of the C41 car, Alfa Romeo technical director Jan Monchaux said that despite the importance of 2022 in resetting the pecking order, the team is still planning updates for the start of the 2021 season.
“2022 is really going to be a new era for technology [side] in Formula 1, “said Monchaux.
“It’s a great opportunity for us, as a relatively small team, to try and catch up with the rest of the field, so it will be a crucial year for us.
“With that in mind, and the fact that in 2021, for the first time, we saw the introduction of the budget cap, which means that you can only develop with a given amount of resources and that they’re limited, it’s a compromise we have to make and each team will make between how much is spent on the actual car and how much we are going for next year’s car.
“I think each team will stop earlier, the development of the 2021 car, to have as many resources as possible on next year’s car.
“That doesn’t mean we won’t develop the car. We plan to have some evolutions in the first few races, and we are still working a bit in the wind tunnel on this car.”
MORE: Why Alfa’s 2021 Launch Says More About Its 2022 Plans
Monchaux explained that Alfa Romeo would then assess his performance at the start of the season before deciding how long he would continue working on the 2021 car before focusing on next year.
“We will see how the season goes, if we are forced to do a little more than we hoped, or if we can start a little earlier,” said Monchaux.
“But it will definitely be a different season, in terms of technical racing, as most teams will have their eye on 2022.
“Due to the budget cap, you just can’t afford to develop two cars in parallel.”
Alfa Romeo chose to spend its development tokens for the 2021 car on the design of a new nose for the C41, as well as the front suspension and brake drums.
All teams have faced restrictions on what they can develop significantly for this year following the agreement to freeze certain aspects of the design in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.